You are here

Lunch at the 'Power Section' The Washington Post

September 21, 2009
Unbound From K Street, Lobbyists Expand Waistlines, Horizons Into Favored Restaurants

By Manuel Roig-Franzia
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 20, 2009

Noon at Ristorante Tosca. Time to feed the lobbyists. They're all at their regular tables in this F Street hangout, communing over lobster risotto.

Table 45, tucked discreetly behind the servers' station, always goes to Steve Elmendorf, a hot hand these days in Democratic lobbying circles. He can see everyone from there; everyone can't necessarily see him. The influential Republican lobbyist Mark Isakowitz gets whisked to Table 62 along the back wall's "Power Section," the one with the panoramic view of who's coming and going.

Table 26 -- like a display case, smack-dab in the elevated, look-at-me center of the room -- is the domain of Tom Daschle. Can't miss him. (And yes, Mr. Daschle, you're not technically a registered lobbyist, but as a "special policy adviser" -- wink, wink -- to the legislative strategists at Alston & Bird, you count.) Then there's the "TARP Section" in back, habitat of lobbyists for bailed-out companies. Citigroup's Nick Calio can be found there, ordering a nice bottle of red at midday for his crew at the biggest table in the restaurant. Read the full story