Guess who's not coming to breakfast? Norm Bangerter, Ted Wilson and Merrill Cook.
While Utah voters will likely cast their ballots for one of the three gubernatorial candidates, the bacon, eggs and orange juice crowd is not toasting the idea of having a private breakfast with any of them.At least, that's what an informal Deseret News survey of people in Utah shows.
When early morning patrons at the Market Street Grill restaurant downtown were asked recently to name the political personality they would most like to have breakfast with, their overwhelming choice was Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.
Jesse Jackson was a close second. But Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, was the only local political figure named.
"That's because the local guys wouldn't pick up the check; the national ones would," one attorney quipped. "Besides, we could have breakfast with local politicians anytime we want to."
Psychologists say that, in one sense, the morning meal is the most meaningful meal of the day, because conversation at the breakfast table is likely to be less inhibited and more revealing.
Mike Larsen believes that would be the case if he were given a chance to dine with the highly celebrated Massachusetts governor.
"I'd like to see if he's for real," the lumber company employee said. "He just seems so smooth, and kind of superficial. I haven't really heard anything meaningful from him yet. I'd like to see what he is going to propose that will affect the business environment over the next four years - what changes he plans on making."
Others would also like to compare philosophies with the Harvard-educated lawyer, who speaks six languages but is portrayed as "the common man."
Here are their reasons for wanting to dine with Dukakis:
Mark Griffin, San Francisco resident doing business in Utah: "I like his character and the way he presents himself, and I think he is a dominating figure in politics right now."
Dean Gray, attorney: "I am impressed with him. I think he is an excellent Democrat and an excellent candidate - for a change - on the Democratic side for president. I was very much impressed with his acceptance speech. I believe he is finally possibly a leader we can believe in - and believe."
Sue Gegarac, a Illinois resident attending the National Association of Legal Secretaries Convention in Salt Lake: "He's going to be very interesting and going to try to pull the Democratic Party together. This is what we need is unity. I want to stand behind him because I feel he is going to try to help us out."
Others interviewed thought that sharing eggs benedict with Jackson would be more appetizing.
"He's an inspiration to all of us. I'd like to have the opportunity once in my life to have a personal interaction with him," said Paula Randolph, communications director for the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.
Allison Larsen, a mother and aerobics teacher, agrees. "Jesse Jackson, just because he is more colorful than the others," she said. "I find most of them (political figures) are pretty boring, so I am not too excited to eat with them. But Jesse Jackson - he's a character."
Here are some other responses from eatery patrons:
Carol Browning, owner of a life and health insurance business, on George Bush: "He has been so put down because of not having enough flair. I would really like to see if he has more to say and offer than what he presents in a public image."
James Christopherson, co-owner of an overhead door company, on Orrin Hatch: "I have a few questions I would like to ask him. I like him, but I'd like to ask him why he does things in politics the way he does." The breakfast conversations would center on nuclear waste dumps, child care and military bases, Christopherson said.
Michael O'Driscoll, Christopherson's partner, on Donna Rice: "Sounds like she has a lot of personality. It would be interesting."
Jan Andrews, local filmmaker and State Health Department employee on Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.: "I thought his views and mine were very similar about the direction I thought this country should be taking. He's literal enough to be concerned about people in need, and I have very much those feelings."
Carl Swanson, movie theater employee: "None of them. I prefer breakfast alone."
Other diners, eyes glued to their morning newspaper, sarcastically shared Swanson's sentiments. Most political figures, they said, make them lose their appetites.