Ed Rollins’ Wife on His Departure from Bachmann’s Campaign

Put away those summer whites — but keep that rain gear handy!  Now that Labor Day is history, the town car set has returned from their summer sojourns and is gearing up for the power lunch season. The Wednesday crowd at Michael’s isn’t back to full tilt just yet, but there were enough suits and swells in the dining room to signal that play time is over.

I was joined today by PR maven extraordinaire Catherine Saxton who is gearing up for a very busy fall season. She’s juggling a number of exciting events including Eric Trump’s charity golf tournament benefiting St.Jude’s Children’s Hospital coming up next week in Westchester (Amanda Seyfried and Brooklyn Decker are both schedule to attend) and a multi-day culinary competition kicking off September 22 and 23 in Times Square. For the latter, 72 Chinese chefs will battle it out to have their cuisine served at the “Emperor’s Banquet” on Sunday, September 25 at Pier 60.

After lunch, Catherine introduced me to Shari Rollins, wife of veteran Republican strategist Ed Rollins who yesterday announced he was stepping down as Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign chief due to health reasons. When I asked Shari to weigh in on her 68-year-old husband’s headline-making decision, she told me: “Politics is tough — it’s a young man’s game. Ed is young in spirit, but not in body. Those 14-hour days were grueling. He’s a great husband and a great father, and I’m happy he’s taking care of himself. He’s doing great and thinks the world of Michelle.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Warner Music Group’s Lyor Cohen(Tory Burch’s main squeeze), presiding over a table full of business types

2. Fashionista Mickey Ateyeh, sporting a glorious tan she got while on holiday in the south of France, with Meredith Finney

3. Steve Mosko

4. Wowowow’s Liz Smith (Loved the baby blue leather jacket!) and Joni Evans with, so we’re told, a Dr. Schindler.

5.  Allen & Company’s Stan Shuman

6.  The sartorially splendid Euan Rellie and some well-heeled pals

7. Catherine Saxton and yours truly

8. Former New York City Council president Andrew Stein and his handsome son, Jake

11.  M.T. Carey

12. Corcoran’s SVP Shari Rollins and journo Indy Shriner Carey (Nice to meet you both!)

14. Simon & Schuster’s Alice Mayhew

15. Judge Robert Keating and an elegantly dressed young lady we didn’t get to meet

16. Richard Medley

17. My pal Brian Balthazar, HGTV’s director of original programming, with Emily Henderson, winner of the network’s competition show, Design Star, and current headliner of Secrets From a Stylist. I was thrilled to catch up with Brian, who somehow finds time to log plenty of airtime as a pop culture pundit in addition to creating some of my favorite shows on HGTV. We traded Hurricane Irene stories (I battled the elements in the dark in Greenwich, Connecticut while he found time to get a massage in the eye of the storm in Vermont), and then he introduced me to Emily.

In addition to pulling affordably luxe looks together on her own show, she’ll be headlining a special broadcast of HGTV’d on September 17. Emily tells me she visited Austin, Texas for the show to help a family with two newly adopted children renovate their home and, in the process, show how family friendly their neighborhood is. “I totally fell in love with them,” she told me. “It was great helping people do something that was so important to them.”

18. News Corporation’s Martin Pompadur

20. Producer Beverly Camhe (Long time no see!)

21.  WWD‘s Marc Berger

22. Alberto Luzarraga

23. Art aficionado Alexandre Chemla

24. The Wall Street Journal’s David Sanford and Louis Stein

25. PR guru Tom Goodman

26. Lisa Hollaender

27. Howard Sloan Koller Group’s Ed Koller