Willie Brown's expensive dinner with Mayor Villaraigosa

williesworld.gifFormer San Francisco mayor Willie Brown was a good friend of, and frequent subject of, the late columnist Herb Caen. Brown is doing a decent job of emulating Caen's political gossip chops with his Sunday columns in the San Francisco Chronicle. In his latest, Brown describes a recent dinner reunion of former Assembly speakers in Beverly Hills.

It was quite a scene down at the Cut steakhouse in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where I had dinner with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger stopped by, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd stopped by, and Dolly Parton stopped by. But it was John McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt who stole the show with his tales of Sarah Palin.

He was still royally ripped with Palin for her comments about him in her book.

I joked that I'd read the book and figured it was about 70 percent fiction.

He said, "No, it's 100 percent fiction."

He also said that if Palin's real spending on clothes had been accurately reported during the campaign, the country would have been in an uproar.

According to Schmidt, she would go into a store, buy everything in sight, and have the bill sent to the Republican National Committee.

Schmidt said he stopped counting after the tab hit $250,000.

Brown, who is doing the TV pundit thing regularly these days, uses this column to advise President Obama that he's being overexposed and gives him just a B+ on the State of the Union speech. Brown ends with a joke:

John Edwards is the Bernard Madoff of politics.

He sold us all on the idea that he was Mr. Clean, Mr. Caring, Mr. Family Man - and all the while, he was out double dating with Tiger Woods.

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