The night before she and 19 others were shot at an event in Tucson, Arizona, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) wrote a warm email to Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, where she told the Republican “we need to figure out how to tone our rhetoric and partisanship down.”
Giffords remains in the hospital in critical condition after being shot in the head Saturday.
According to cn|2 Politics, which obtained the email, Giffords sent the message to congratulate Grayson for his recent appointment as director of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.
“After you get settled, I would love to talk about what we can do to promote centrism and moderation,” Giffords wrote. “I am one of only 12 Dems left in a GOP district (the only woman) and think that we need to figure out how to tone our rhetoric and partisanship down.”
[TPM Slideshow: TPM Retraces Shooting Suspect’s Steps]
Giffords and Grayson met in 2005, when they were part of the inaugural class of the Aspen Institute’s Rodel Fellowship. In her email, Giffords promised to visit Grayson, and told him she thought his new job was “truly an incredible opportunity that will lead to wonderful things.” Grayson told cn|2 Politics that he and Giffords spoke often about divisiveness in politics.
“That is something she and I have been quite passionate about — to run for office in the right way and for the right reasons,” Grayson said. “I think Gabby was really sincere in that email … And I am going to to redouble my efforts.”
In May, the party establishment pick Grayson lost to now-Sen. Rand Paul in the Kentucky Republican Senate primary, despite the early support of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Late Update: Grayson’s office provided the full email to TPM.
Subject: Re: Grayson Named Director of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics
Congratulations! Wow! This is a fantastic position and a perfect fit for you. As a State Senator I participated in the 3-week State and Local leader’s program and have never forgotten it. Hard to forget Marty Linksky.
After you get settled, I would love to talk about what we can do to promote centrism and moderation. I am one of only 12 Dems left in a GOP district (the only woman) and think that we need to figure out how to tone our rhetoric and partisanship down.
Mark and I will come visit after you get settled. Again, congratulations. This is truly an incredible opportunity that will lead to wonderful things.
(h/t Huffington Post)
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com