One by one, former contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination are offering Kerry their time, their toil and even their precious lists of campaign donors in an early show of unity for a man and a party intent on toppling President Bush in November.
Early unity has been less than automatic over the past quarter-century for Democrats.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy waged a convention floor fight with President Carter over the party platform in 1980. Gary Hart offered a grudging acknowledgment of Walter F. Mondale’s narrow victory in 1984. Jesse Jackson was reluctant to yield to Michael Dukakis even at the convention in 1988.
More recently, Bill Bradley waited for months after losing the nomination to Al Gore in 2000 before offering a mid-July endorsement.
Democrats lost each of those elections.