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.
Standing before a Red Cross in Washington D.C. earlier this afternoon, President Barack Obama praised response efforts in the face of Hurricane Sandy, singling out New York in particular.
“This storm is not yet over,” Mr. Obama said to begin his address, labeling the hardship faced by the country as “extraordinary,” adding, “Obviously this is something that is heartbreaking for the entire nation.” According to the White House pool report, the president went on to say his “most important message” to those recovering from the storm’s devastating aftermath was, “America is with you.”
Congressman Charlie Rangel is back in the hospital for the second time this month. Mr. Rangel’s spokeswoman, Hannah Kim, told The Politicker the congressman is still coping with a back injury that has kept him out of the House of Representatives since February 9, his longest absence in at least ten years.
After being forced off the campaign trail for at least the past two weeks, Councilman Lew Fidler appears to be actively competing in the special election for Carl Kruger’s old State Senate seat again.
“It’s 1,000 percent full steam ahead,” Mr. Fidler told Brooklyn Daily, which first reported the news. Calling the extended stay in the hospital “a temporary setback,” he further vowed to “beat the pants off of” his Republican opponent, attorney David Storobin.