A QUESTION. Here’s something that's been on my mind -- and I think on the minds of some commenters -- especially with all the Democratic Party blogging lately: What, exactly, makes Hillary Clinton a strong candidate? Not just a "good" candidate, but a candidate worth supporting with one's primary vote?

My take is that both John Edwards and Barack Obama are simultaneously more liberal on the issues than Clinton but perceived by the electorate to be more moderate. This seems like a dream combination for progressives. Clinton, on the other hand, is the relatively centrist candidate, but perceived by many to be extremely liberal, which actually seems like the worst imaginable combination. Not to mention the fact that a Hillary Clinton presidency means four people from two families will have controlled the White House for at least 24 years (32 if you count the first Bush's vice presidency). Aside from the identity politics discussed by Sam and Ezra, what am I missing? If Clinton is the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, I will cast my vote in her favor, as no doubt will many other progressive voters. But why in the world would progressives support her in the primaries?

--Steven White