The Breakfast Table

Plays Well With Others


I’m so glad that on this, our last day together, and the second-darkest day so far of his presidency, that you cleared up the mystery of that New York Post headline. When I saw BLOCKHEAD, I assumed it was another story about the effort to impeach Bill Clinton, and so I failed to learn more about Chuck Knoblauch. I understand he may have wrecked the Yankee game the other night, but might in fact be the only major league player who has yet to beat up his wife.

I think that the chance of a government bailout for novelists has gotten even slimmer now that Bill Weld has left public life. But the reason they keep helping farmers is no doubt part of the vast Hollywood conspiracy. Without farmers, we would never have the Bridges of Madison County. Nor would there be any customers for the Gurnee Mills Planet Hollywood.

Since we really shouldn’t have a day without Rudy, I was grateful to find–under the stack of laptops yet to be incinerated–this week’s New York Observer. Kate Kelly and Greg Sargent write that Rudy has been sucking up to the Bushes, as part of some diabolical plan to be George W.’s running mate. And in another page one dispatch, Paul Alexander discusses with George Pataki his presidential ambitions. I don’t know about you, but given the choice of a Pataki or a Guiliani in or near the White House, I say go with the man who will provide the best copy. But as Kelly and Sargent point out: “Mr. Pataki has a number of advantages over Mr. Guiliani. He is bland. He plays well with others. He has a more conventional comb-over.”

Even more thought provoking is William Norwich’s revealing page-one visit to the West Village apartment of Isaac Mizrahi. Turns out that on the morning after his company went bust, Isaac “awakened in a heap of white linen,” and rushed to his front door, only to find himself on the front page of the New York Times, for his monumental failure in the fashion business. “I said [out loud] ‘How glamorous!’” Mizrahi tells Norwich. “Because it was a thin picture. I was so happy. I could have been a tub. That would have been the worst thing.” Apparently, the whole city was trembling over the Times that morning. “My first thought,” said Blaine Trump, “was, `Oh, Good God, no! Isaac’s been killed!’”

I can only hope that our fine editors at Slate will choose Blaine Trump and Isaac Mizrahi as next week’s Breakfast Table partners. God knows they can both use a day job.

Yours forever and ever,