It began last July when she was home and about to go to Columbia University. I found that our US Senator from Connecticut (CT), Joe Lieberman was trailing 45% to 55% in the Democrat primary polls, behind a Ned Lamont whom I'd never even heard of.
Rubina and I both liked and respected Lieberman as did much of CT, and Rubina as a college undergrad had been in touch with him. He had national stature, been Al Gore's running mate as VP in the 2000 Presidential election, and was briefly Democrat Presidential candidate for 2004.
But he had supported the Iraq War and as a Democrat had often reached across the aisle and worked with Republicans and George Bush. So the liberal Democrats were out to get him.
Many Democrats had been wrong about the war so I didn't think Lieberman should be ousted for that reason. Plus, I had rather liked his ability to shed partisanship and work with Republicans on several issues. CT is a small state and for the first time I felt our vote mattered.
"Lieberman needs our help" I told Rubina, "so let's register to vote." She nodded and we went together to Danbury City Hall for the purpose. I switched from Independent to Democrat (the only way I could vote in the Democrat primaries) and Rubina registered as a Democrat. "At least two more votes for Lieberman" I thought with some satisfaction as we left.
You can guess what happened next. That night Rubina said she liked some things about Lamont and wasn't so enthusiastic about Lieberman. To my increasing mortification over the next few days she switched to Lamont despite my admonitions and arguments. Why don't children listen to their parents? We went to the Democrat primaries voting together on August 8 to neutralize each other's Lieberman - Lamont votes, with her laughing at my reproachful looks on our way in.
Lieberman lost those primaries 48%-52%, but won the general elections in November as an "Independent Democrat" with sizable Republican support. That time I helped Rubina process her postal ballot since she had gone to Columbia. Like digging my own grave I said in my email and she responded with "ha ha."
And now it is Hillary versus Obama. Rubina told me last week that two of her friends were Obama state campaign coordinators, one for Illinois and the other for Georgia. We argued semi-seriously after I looked heavenwards and said "what's wrong with them?" This time I'm not sure if Rubina's all for Obama or merely defending her friends.
I don't think Obama is that bad, but he is likely to force Hillary more to the left during the Primaries so that she is weakened for the general election. Much like that Howard Dean created trouble for Kerry & Co. in 2004. If Obama were to actually win, I'd probably prefer Giuliani though I've reservations about him.
But whether it's sour grapes or not I'm now beginning to think that Obama in the race is not that bad. That's because John Edwards is now firmly to the left, so Obama and Edwards may divide the anti-Hillary votes that can work to her advantage. She will still have to deal with all the anti-Hillary sentiments in the general elections, but enough people may change their perceptions in time to understand her and start liking the poor dear...