Monday, Nov. 05, 1979

The Kennedy Challenge

It is smoky and sweltering in the high-ceilinged Pennsylvania Room at the Sheraton Hotel on John F. Kennedy Boulevard in Philadelphia. Some 300 Democrats have paid $250 each to attend a fund-raising reception, but instead of bunching around the bar and the hors d'oeuvres table, they are jostling for position at the door, waiting for the main attraction. "I do hope I can just see him," an elderly woman gushes.

Suddenly, Ted Kennedy strides into the room, his flushed face beaming and his right hand reaching out. "Ooh," squeals an elegantly coiffed woman. "He shook my hand. Did you see...