Now that Ted's out of the race, who'll get blue-collar backing in '84?
Looks like former Vice-President Walter F. Mondale. His support for organized labor has been as solid as Kennedy's - and Mondale seems to have inherited the mantle of his longtime mentor and liberal stalwart, the late Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey. The AFL-CIO is not at all unhappy about Kennedy's decision not to seek the White House in 1984. It said it ''respects his decision'' and ''understands his feeling of family responsibility.'' More to the point, it said labor ''particularly values his leadership in the Senate'' where Kennedy is considered one of labor's best friends. Kennedy's been popular with union members. But AFL-CIO political strategists have been concerned about his chances of winning labor votes.
A majority of trade unionists are conservative where personal and family matters are concerned.m