The shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six people and left U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition is contributing at least momentarily to a cooling of U.S. political rhetoric.
The incident led the House to postpone legislative business for the week as both parties rushed to condemn the attack.
It is also likely to hurt the image of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, said Ross Baker, a congressional scholar at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.
The former Republican vice presidential candidate has posted on the Internet a map of the U.S. with the cross-hair symbols for a rifle scope dotting the home states of lawmakers, including Giffords, whom she was targeting for defeat in the 2010 congressional election.