Gabrielle Giffords and Barack Obama
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Barack Obama bids farewell to Gabrielle Giffords

25 January 2012 Last updated at 10:08 GMT

On his way to the podium to make his third State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama paused to warmly hug Gabrielle Giffords.

Congress erupted in applause as Mr Obama rocked her from side to side.

The congresswoman, who has made a remarkable, but not full recovery after being shot in the head, announced her retirement from Congress on Sunday.