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Sweet column: Obama-Bloomberg? Bloomberg-Obama? Big Apple power breakfast. Obama treats billionaire.


NEW YORK -- Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who is running for president, breakfasted early Friday at a coffee shop here with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is eyeing an Independent White House bid. VIDEO LINK

Obama picked up the tab for the billionaire Bloomberg, paying in cash and leaving a $10 tip on the $17.34 check.

The breakfast came at Bloomberg's initiative -- Obama had a standing invitation to dine with the mayor, Obama's campaign said. For Obama, who is looking to cut into the New York home field advantage of chief rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), breakfast with Bloomberg was a win-win to accept.

They talked about the economy, education, homeland security and global warming, an Obama aide said. The tete-a-tete also fueled political speculators to ponder an Obama-Bloomberg ticket -- or the other way around.

Later Friday, Bloomberg, on his "Live from City Hall" weekly radio show, said he and Obama talked about matters in Washington where a senator or a president can make a difference.

Bloomberg last saw Clinton at a Sept. 11 commemoration, his spokesman said. Clinton did not endorse Bloomberg when he ran.

The two political titans ate at the New York Luncheonette at 135 East 50th St. in midtown Manhattan, where they talked for more than 30 minutes. They were seated at a window table on purpose, to create an ultimate photo opportunity.

Photographers snapped away through the glass, while Obama munched his bacon, eggs over easy and toast and Bloomberg his scrambled eggs and potatoes as they both ignored the choreographed spectacle a few feet away.

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs and Obama chief strategist David Axelrod waited outside during the Obama-Bloomberg breakfast summit. Gibbs said: "They are two guys that have, I think long believed that we need to end the game-playing in Washington and get something done, frustrated with that type of politics and a desire to turn the page on that, and get some common sense solutions to the problems that are affecting everyday Americans."

The photo op started as a clandestine operation, the second in two days for the Obama campaign. Obama campaign reporters got a cell call and e-mail near midnight with instructions to meet at a midtown Manhattan street corner at 7:15 a.m.

The night before, there was less than 30 minutes notice to Obama scribes to meet in front of a White Castle in Harlem, which turned out to be a staging area for a photo op with the Rev. Al Sharpton and Obama at a nearby soul-food restaurant.

Bloomberg is the one-time Democrat turned Republican who recently declared himself an Independent and is mulling a presidential run, viable for him because he could pour part of his fortune into a White House campaign.

Obama is pitching himself as the candidate who can appeal to the Bloombergs of the nation. He underscored that point in remarks prepared for Friday's appearance at the Democratic National Committee fall meeting in a Washington suburb.

"I'm attracting more Independents and Republicans to our cause than anyone else in this campaign," Obama said.

Not to concede ground, Clinton, a Chicago native, announced Friday the names of her Illinois Steering Committee.


There are many people out there trying to Draft Mike Bloomberg to a high office than VP. We've recently launched a blog and forums for that very purpose. Check us out!

obama who? what? in a little over three weeks the junior senator will have to work for a living, yes? and those under his tent may perhaps find a home with mr. kucinich...or perhaps allison davis, eh?

Hey Jeff I think the Patriots are going to win the Superbowl.

Educating everybody is truly an important aspect in the success of a nation. A new administration is about to take over, and education is a topic that’s hovering on the minds of many. Many are really curious of what would be the new government plans and changes that may or may not benefit the people. The question is what wills president-elect Barack Obama do to improve the massive groups of students and teachers in America? In an article at The Apple, Obama’s first step into the development of education is focused on No Child Left Behind. He does not intend to scrap the program, but he does want to reform it, particularly when it comes to standardize testing. He is against preparing students all year to “fill out bubbles.” As long as the performance is up to standard, both Obama and Vice-President Elect Biden will support charter schools. Teachers at charter schools and beyond find Obama's incentives like Teacher Service Scholarships and various pay rewards hopeful. Moreover, a major part of the president-elect’s proposal is to enhance Early Head Start Programs and provide tax credits for college education. Restoring faith in the American educational system via these ideas and more will surely lead to the kind of credit repair the country needs – where the currency is a vibrant workforce that is equipped and ready to lead America into the future. Click to learn more about Credit Repair.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on December 1, 2007 2:12 PM.

Sweet extra: Hostage situation at Clinton HQ in Rochester, NH. Obama staffers in nearby office evacuated. UPDATE Crisis ends. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet column: Will Obama's Chicago textbook politics backfire in Iowa? Yepsen, Iowa top columnist wonders. UPDATE is the next entry in this blog.

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