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Giffords' vote the most memorable of all

Aug 2, 2011 8:20:00 AM - thestate.com
The total number of votes on the historic debt-limit bill was 430. One vote was more memorable than any of the others.

Seven months after she was shot in the head, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to the House on Monday to cast her vote. Thunderous applause and emotional hugs from her Republican and Democratic colleagues greeted her.

Giffords' entrance, with just minutes remaining in the vote, surprised lawmakers and added even more drama to a high-stakes day. The Arizona Democrat responded to the attention with a smile, and she mouthed "thank you" several times.

"We were just hugging. Girl hugs," said Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. Other colleagues, surprised and joyful, made their way to greet her as she was enveloped in a cluster of Democratic lawmakers.

Giffords used one hand to greet some, the other by her side. Her hair was dark and closely cropped, and she wore glasses. Her image was quite different from the one Americans saw seven months ago when she was sworn in for a third term by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)