From NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan
NEW YORK, NY -- Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg met for breakfast this morning, an unexpected encounter that was publicly announced around 3:00 am ET.
Press gathered outside a window of "The Luncheonette" on 50th Street between 3rd Avenue and Lexington to watch the two politicians have breakfast. Though the mob of press assembled couldn't hear anything through the plexiglass, Bloomberg and Obama spoke for at least 40 minutes over coffee, tea, eggs, and bacon -- and from the looks of it, the conversation appeared serious and earnest.
From our vantage point, it appeared that the mayor likes to put a "liberal" amount of salt on his eggs. Senator Obama appears to prefer tea over a cup of joe in the morning.
The men shared a couple of laughs towards the end of the breakfast. Obama picked up the check of about $11 ,and left a $10 tip on the table. The manager of The Luncheonette said the place was no stranger to politicians: Giuliani frequently stops in, and President Carter also has made a visit.
The mayor's office stressed that he has met with almost all of the candidates running for office, but could not confirm if he had such a public "private" meeting with anyone else running for president. The last time the mayor met with Sen. Clinton was on September 11th, when the two spoke privately backstage.
The meeting between the two has fueled speculation about whom Bloomberg -- who has said that he will not run for president -- might endorse in this election. However, his press aides would not entertain any such question. The mayor has publicly said that he wants to play a role in the presidential race by bringing awareness to important social issues.
This is the second prominent meeting that Obama has had with a well-known New Yorker. Last night, he met with Al Sharpton at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem before his fundraiser at the Apollo. The two discussed the importance of hate crimes legislation, and Sharpton reported that though he hasn't decided on who to endorse yet -- though he's moving closer to a decision.