At a lunch with editors and reporters at The Post last week, Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker was asked to handicap the announced and potential Democratic candidates for president in 1984:

I think of all the candidates John Glenn is probably one of the most capable men I ever met. Whether that makes him a good candidate or not remains to be seen, but he's a very capable person.

If I were to put a little stack of chips on a dark horse, I'd pick Gary Hart. Gary has a potential to develop a charisma and a following that we've seen happen before and might happen again. Gary will have his problems, but . . . is a smart, tough young politican, and those are two important qualifiers.

(Walter) Mondale is the front-runner, and with that go all the perils of being a front-runner. He is also a known quantity, which is also about a wash, because you have about as many enemies as friends in that sort of situation. But Mondale is the front- runner and must defend that. No one has recently defended that very successfully. So I think he has some problems.

(Dale) Bumpers? I've not talked to Bumpers; I'm not sure how serious he is about the race right now.

(Ernest) Hollings is serious about and . . . is right mysterious about the race. I don't think he is yet among those who are prime contenders, nor is (Reubin) Askew, probably--but who would have thought Jimmy Carter was?

(Alan) Cranston is a . . . politician from a big state who locked on to a big and important win in (the) Chicago (mayoral primary), and that's going to improve his chances