Rebecca Traister, author of Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women, says that while she was out on her book tour, answering questions about who represented the future for women in American politics inevitably led her to have Gabrielle Giffords' "name on [her] lips, all day every day":
Of course, the human losses of today's attacks in Arizona are immeasurably greater than any political or social toll. But it would be irresponsible to fail to note that a young, highly educated, ambitious Jewish woman like Gabrielle Giffords, despite her centrism, represents much that is revolutionary and hopeful about the changing face of American politics, as well as about the new and varied paths and possibilities available to women. She is the kind of politician this nation could barely have imagined existing just a decade or two ago. And so, when I have been asked about which women are not yet national stars but have the peculiar, groundbreaking alchemy it might take to someday become the nation's first female president, again and again my answer has included the same name: Gabrielle Giffords.
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Gabrielle Giffords' revolutionary political role [Salon War Room]