Breakfast of champions

Breakfast of champions

: I had breakfast with an old colleague this morning at The Regency, the power-breakfast-of-the-moment joint in New York these days.

It was crawling with pols. Crawling. Former Sen. Bob Kerrey of the 9/11 Commission comes in and goes down a damed reception line, table to table, shaking hands. He stops to say hello to Larry King — who, yes, looks even more like a crypt keeper in person; he should not be wearing assless jeans. Larry says he has Bill Clinton this week. What, Larry, are you last in line>? Then there’s rep. Ed Markey of Mass, the legislator who scares me most (because he wants to go after media every which way). There’s Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. And there are plenty of others I’d recognize if I were Wonkette, but I’m not. Crawling, I say.

Mind you, this is a place where lox and a bagel goes for $22. The bill for breakfast there comes to more than I spend on my wife for dinner, which is a commentary not only on my cheapness but also, of course, on the profligate ways of pols.

I go outside and there’s a guy on his knees not just scrubbing but scraping, buffing, and polishing the — who knew it was brass? — metal grate around the tree in the sidewalk. This is two square feet of space that dogs piss on and there’s some poor shlub being paid money to make it shine. This is where are pols are breakfasting.

If I were, say, McDonald’s or Friday’s or Denny’s, I’d offer free meals to any legislator just to force them to come in and eat where the people eat. And while we’re at it, why don’t we pass a law making these guys wear nametags: Hi, I’m Sen. Soandso, have anything to say to me?