Will President Carter still share the podium with Sen. Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy and all the rest of his family at the dedication of the new John F. Kennedy Memorial Library?
The appearance in Boston on Oct. 20 is on the president's announced schedule, the programs almost are ready to go to the printers and his speechwriters have already commenced on the address he will deliver.
A source close to the senator says that Carter told Kennedy at their now-famous Friday luncheon on Sept. 7 that he was "looking forward" to Oct. 20. But the source was not sure whether the remark was made before or after Kennedy informed the president that he is considering challenging him for the 1980 Democratic presidential nomination.
Some observers feel that Carter would find it difficult, if not impossible, to extricate himself gracefully at this point. Others believe he will find it extremely uncomfortable to give a statesmanlike eulogy to the senator's martyred brother, evoking for millions of American voters the haunting memories of the glories of Camelot.
Kennedy's office is insisting they still expect Carter to honor his commitment. But the tip-off may be the fact that the programs are still unprinted. "We're still waiting for the speakers to be finalized," one Kennedy aide said last week.
When reminded that the only speakers previously scheduled were the senator and the president, the aide added: "But some other members of the family may decide at the last minute that they want to say a few words."
There is more talk about who didn't get invited than who did to the party former secretary of State and Mrs. Henry Kissinger gave in New York recently for Frank Sinatra
Sources familiar with the way the guest list was put together claim that ABC's Barbara Walters' name was among those submitted for prior approval by the guest of honor.
Sinatra, whose public concerts are frequently peppered with salty remarks about "BaBa WaWa," reportedly refused to come if she did.
The Kissinger-Sinatra friendship goes back to the early days of the Nixon Administration, when the secretary accepted a dinner invitation from the singer and jested, "I hope it's true that you have Mafia connections. I could use someone to take care of my enemies."
The Kissingers have been entertaining a lot more in their newly purchased Manhattan apartment than they did in their rented Georgetown house. The architect and interior designer were rushed to get it ready for a round of parties. The coats and coats of cobalt, Chinese porcelain-blue (Kissinger's favorite color) lacquer were hardly dry on the dining room walls before the turnover of guests began.
Some reports of the Kissingers' lavish new life style appear to be slightly exaggerated. A friend of Nancy Kissinger says, for instance, that she can't believe Nancy used gold plates for one foreign policy-type evening planned around former CIA director Richard Helms and a group of rich Iranians.
Gold plates are so gauche that former New York mayor Robert Wagner's wife, Phyllis, once gave a "tacky" party where she used gold paper plates along with a wine list that included only Manischewitz.
And it is Phyllis Wagner, widow of Bennett Cerf, who has been Nancy's social guidance counselor.
Mrs Wagner co-authored, with a group of her friends, a "Woman's Guide to Shops and Services" in New York telling you where to get the best of everything and assuming that you already know what the best is when you find it.
Mrs. Wagner's personalized welcome-wagon gift to Nancy Kissinger when she got to the Big Apple was a cook-and-butler couple who will only work parties for certain people. Certainly not for people who use gold plates.