How He's Doing
Earlier this afternoon, former Mayor Ed Koch was placed in the intensive care unit at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, his spokesman George Arzt announced.
“Dr. Joseph Tenenbaum, Mayor Koch’s cardiologist and lead doctor, said he wanted to monitor the former mayor more closely,” Mr. Arzt said in a statement.
How's He Doing?
When former Mayor Ed Koch went to the hospital earlier this month after suffering a buildup of fluid in his lungs and ankles due to congestive heart disease, he was out after eight days. Mr. Koch returned to New York Presbyterian on Monday and, according to his spokesman George Arzt, though the mayor’s condition has improved, this latest trip to the hospital may be a longer one.
Editor’s Note: Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City, has died. The New York Observer’s interview last week with the three-term mayor was among the last granted by Koch. It’s accompanied by photography that captured the over-sized spirit of a mayor who is credited with delivering New York from some of its darkest days.
Edward Koch, the outspoken 88-year-old ex-mayor, is in the hospital for the third time in the past five months, but he’s also in the place where he’s happiest—back in the spotlight. A new documentary, Koch, which tells the tale of his three terms in City Hall and his life after politics, arrives in theaters on Feb. 1.
Late last week, before swelling flared up in his ankles and fluid was found in his lungs again, Mr. Koch could be found in his Midtown office, surrounded by pictures from his days in city government, photos of his sister’s grandchildren—the closest thing the longtime bachelor has to a brood of his own—and other memorabilia. Though he has spent the past decade staying engaged in the political conversation by penning the occasional editorial, offering up endorsements and making regular appearances on NY1, Mr. Koch seemed well aware that health might soon force him to step back from the main stage. But on this day, he was as voluble as ever.
Former New York Mayor Ed Koch has had an influence in Hollywood as well as the Big Apple. Before coming to City Hall, Mr. Koch spent eight years in the House of Representatives. One of his staffers was Nikki Finke, who went on to become one of the most influential and feared reporters in the entertainment industry and, according to Ms. Finke, her time working with the future mayor in Congress helped inspire her to become a journalist.
Former Mayor Ed Koch has already committed to supporting Christine Quinn in the 2013 mayoral race even though she has yet to officially announce her campaign and the potential entrance of MTA Chairman Joe Lhota into the race is not going to change his mind. In an interview with the Post, Mr. Koch said he won’t back Mr. Lhota because he has fundamental disagreements with the “philosophy of” former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who Mr. Lhota worked for as deputy mayor for operations.
“I don’t believe that the city will elect a Republican at this time, which is what Joe Lhota is, because his philosophy is that of Rudy Giuliani, who antagonized a lot of people when he was mayor because of his pugnaciousness,” Mr. Koch told the Post.
Former Mayor Ed Koch, who will be 88-years-old next week, has been hospitalized.
“Mayor Ed Koch was admitted this afternoon to New York-Presbyterian Hospital with a respiratory infection,” his spokesman, George Arzt, announced in a statement. “The infection is being treated with antibiotics.”
After months of rumors, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has officially decided to run for City Comptroller next year. He was previously considering a campaign for mayor, but he said his experience exploring that race convinced him to run for the city’s top financial office. Mr. Stringer spoke to Politicker about his decision earlier today and said he will formally launch his campaign in three weeks. Rather than an avoidance of the crowded mayor’s race, Mr. Stringer characterized his entry into the comptroller race as a move to confront the most crucial issues currently facing the city.
“What’s needed right now is an experienced hand who can partner with the mayor when it’s in the best interests of the city, but also someone with the independence and backbone to stand up to special interests, to call out wasteful spending and to safeguard the city’s pension funds,” said Mr. Stringer. “That is what I’ve done my entire career and that’s what im going to as comptroller, so I’m not dropping down, I’m stepping up.”
Wishing and Hoping
Former Mayor Ed Koch is an avid movie watcher who maintains an email list where he sends out his reviews. His review of the news sports drama “Trouble with the Curve” was released earlier today and it is particularly amusing. Mr. Koch, who labeled the film “really bad,” was clearly not a fan.
Specifically, he was upset with the lack of on-screen romance between the film’s two younger stars.
the holy land
Despite being a fellow Democrat, former Mayor Ed Koch was harshly critical of President Barack Obama’s attitude towards Israel last year. Time and time again, Mr. Koch railed against Mr. Obama, notably using his clout to help elect Congressman Bob Turner win a Democratic-leaning district last summer in a campaign largely based on Mr. Obama’s alleged lack of support for the country. After the election, however, Mr. Koch flipped and said Mr. Obama was indeed a friend of Israel declaring, “I’m now on board the Obama Re-election Express” and vowing to campaign for him in Florida. In light of the recent attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya, however, Mr. Koch has returned to criticizing Mr. Obama’s stance on Israel.
“President Obama on a number of occasions has publicly stated, ‘I have Israel’s back,’” Mr. Koch said in a statement this afternoon. “I don’t know what that means in practice.”
Former New York governor, Slate writer and Current TV host Eliot Spitzer is adding another media job to his resumé–contributor on NY1′s nightly chat fest Inside City Hall. Starting July 10, Mr. Spitzer will join former Mayor Ed Koch and ex-Senator Al D’Amato as one of the show’s “Wiseguys” who weigh in on hot political topics.
“I am delighted to be joining two of New York’s sharpest political minds to discuss the important issues of the day,” Mr. Spitzer said in a statement distributed by the local cable news network.