When campaigns schedule voter meet-and-greets outside of subway stops, they typically entail candidates standing on sidewalks with handfuls of flyers, trying desperately to shake hands with frenzied commuters–often uninterested in being pestered on their way to or from work. But this wasn’t the usual candidate.
This was former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who held court this evening on the Upper West Side. For well over an hour, Mr. Weiner stood surrounded by a crowd of attentive voters, spectators and reporters, fielding one question after the next after the next.
Across the breadth of policy issues, the Democratic candidates for mayor this year tend to share similar viewpoints. However, there are some notable exceptions, and at a debate sponsored by The New York Observer and 92Y, another one was revealed last night: their mayoral role models.
The first two candidates to speak, former Comptroller Bill Thompson and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, couldn’t choose just one mayor. Rather, the pair saw themselves as pulling from the best attributes from four and cited Ed Koch’s spirit, David Dinkins’s compassion, Rudy Giuliani’s toughness and Michael Bloomberg’s vision.
Readers of Wednesday’s New York Post may have noticed a full-page tribute to the late former Mayor Ed Koch signed by Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis and his wife, Margo. When Politicker called Mr. Catsimatidis to ask about the ad this afternoon, the billionaire businessman was quick to point out it wasn’t a campaign expense.
At Temple Emanu-El in the Upper East Side this morning, hundreds of New Yorkers–including a small army of elected officials–braved ice-cold wind gusts and swarms of reporters to pay their respects to former Mayor Ed Koch, who passed away last Friday. The long list of top-tier politicos in attendance included current and former governors, mayors and senators. And every one of them had a fond memory of Koch to share.
“My last conversation with him was when I went to his office to ask him to support me for comptroller.” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer recalled, for example. “I prepared. I expected to have a long conversation. He looked up at me and said, ‘I endorse you. Go win. Goodbye.'”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered one of the eulogies at former Mayor Ed Koch’s funeral in Manhattan this morning and he praised his predecessor for an attitude “full of humor and chutzpah” that “embodied the spirit of New York City” and made him “our City’s quintessential Mayor.” In his speech, Mayor Bloomberg also credited Koch with laying the foundation that allowed subsequent mayor’s to make the five boroughs “great again.” In a nod to the setting of the funeral, the Jewish Temple Emanu-El, Mr. Bloomberg compared Koch’s achievements to the story of Moses.
“I’ve been doing my biblical research, and I think it’s only fitting that this week’s Torah portion is about Moses leading the Jews out of bondage in Egypt. Now, Ed, in his own way, was our Moses. Just with a little less hair,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “He led us out of darkness and he gave us hope. And while he may not have parted the Red Sea, he did break a subway strike by standing on a bridge and shouting words of encouragement.” Continue reading “Mayor Bloomberg Eulogizes ‘Our Moses,’ Ed Koch”→
Andrew Cuomo is among the mourners attending Ed Koch’s funeral today in Manhattan, but the governor and his family didn’t always enjoy the best relationship with the former mayor.
Koch ran against Governor Cuomo’s father, Mario, twice. They first faced off when Koch made it to City Hall in the 1977 mayoral election. In 1982, Koch ran for governor and was defeated by the elder Mr. Cuomo. The 1977 campaign included an incident where posters alluding to the widespread rumors about Mr. Koch’s sexuality by proclaiming “Vote For Cuomo, Not The Homo” were placed all along Queens Boulevard.
In 1981, when Ed Koch was mayor, President Barack Obama moved to New York City to study at Columbia University. Today, Mr. Obama joined New Yorkers in mourning Mr. Koch’s death.
“Ed Koch was an extraordinary Mayor, irrepressible character, and quintessential New Yorker,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “He took office at a time when New York was in fiscal crisis, and helped his city achieve economic renewal, expand affordable housing, and extend opportunity to more of its people.”