This is what Democratic unity looks like.
John Kerry is getting fund-raising and message-making help from his former Democratic primary foes, some of whom are potential running mates and big financial draws in important parts of the country.
Missouri Rep. Richard Gephardt, Florida Sen. Bob Graham, retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards are opening doors and wallets for Kerry as he tries to raise $80 million for his presidential campaign by midsummer.
Kerry began this month $5 million in the hole, but he's raised about $1 million a day on the Internet for the past 10 days. However, he still lags far behind President Bush, who has $108 million on hand and is expected to raise as much as $200 million by the end of summer.
Nevertheless, the speed with which Kerry has recruited his former rivals as allies has stunned many Democrats and unsettled Republicans, who worry that the Democrats' animosity to Bush, doubts about the war in Iraq and fears about the economy are helping Kerry unite his often fractious party.
"This is the only time that I can remember where all of the groups that make up the Democratic Party, everyone has said, you don't have to be with us 100 percent," said Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del.
Kerry's former rivals are starting to ramp up their roles. Gephardt will campaign with Kerry in Missouri on Saturday. Clark and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean are tapping their Internet networks and soliciting help for Kerry. Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut is expected to campaign for Kerry soon in Florida. Edwards, a former trial lawyer who's been on vacation, has told Kerry aides that he's ready to hit the stump and has made his extensive contacts among deep-pocketed lawyers available to Kerry.
"They've all offered to do both money and surrogate stuff," said Steve Elmendorf, Kerry's deputy campaign manager. "We'll be utilizing them a lot."