Some lucky journalist out there knows the backstory on this, I’m sure, but we’ll have to wait for the details. Still nothing authoritative on the wires an hour later. In fact, the most colorful background comes from — who else? — Joe Biden:

“We’re all standing there around, and Michele (Bachmann) walks up to see Gabby, because she cares about her…”

“Here I’m hugging Gabby and Michele Bachmann. Seriously, I’m being literal! … There is a basic humanity here, man.”

Alternate headline: “Biden hugs Gabby Giffords and terrorist.” I’m curious to find out who took the initiative in arranging this appearance, whether it was the Democratic leadership or Giffords herself. If it was her, and she wanted to be there because she’s already well enough to follow the debate and cast an important vote, that’s truly wonderful news. Exit quotation from fellow Arizonan Jeff Flake: “Just greeted Gabby Giffords on the House floor. ‘Great to be here!’ she said. I couldn’t agree more.”

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