Snakebit on the Long Trail

Hart lives again as Mondale stumbles in the Midwest

The invitation read, "Help put Fritz over the top." Balloons floated, booze flowed and the band played as hundreds of Mondale supporters jammed the Sheraton Washington Hotel last week to celebrate the beginning of the end of the Democratic race. Inquiring reporters were told to expect an early victory statement at 8 o'clock. At 9 p.m., Campaign Manager Robert Beckel assured the faithful: "We're on our way. It's only a matter of time now."

But the time dragged. Small groups began to cluster around TV sets....

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