JOE CIARDIELLO FOR
Among his Senate moves, Kerry's taken a lead on pushing for troop withdrawal deadlines in Iraq, championed military pay hikes, promoted action on climate change, with his wife penned an environmental hit This Moment on Earth, and used his remarkable E-mail list of 3 million addresses to raise $100,000 in April alone for Democratic Senate candidates. It's not been perfect: Recall when he said kids could either work hard in school or "get stuck in Iraq"? Says a friend: "He's a work in progress."
Party strategist Chris Lehane thinks Kerry's comeback is akin to Al Gore's. "The last two nominees have created their own platforms to affect the type of change that they believe in," he says. Former Gore aide Donna Brazile sees a larger story at work: "I am willing to bet that some voters may like to see Kerry reappear on the national stage."