Former NY Mayor Ed Koch Endorses Obama, Says Palin "Scary"

Former New York Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat who has supported both Republicans and Democrats in the past, today endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president. The chief reason: Sarah Palin.

I have concluded that the country is safer in the hands of Barack Obama, leader of the Democratic Party and protector of the philosophy of that party. Protecting and defending the U.S. means more than defending us from foreign attacks. It includes defending the public with respect to their civil rights, civil liberties and other needs, e.g., national health insurance, the right of abortion, the continuation of Social Security, gay rights, other rights of privacy, fair progressive taxation and a host of other needs and rights.


If the vice president were ever called on to lead the country, there is no question in my mind that the experience and demonstrated judgment of Joe Biden is superior to that of Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is a plucky, exciting candidate, but when her record is examined, she fails miserably with respect to her views on the domestic issues that are so important to the people of the U.S., and to me. Frankly, it would scare me if she were to succeed John McCain in the presidency.

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    this should do wonders (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by wystler on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:31:40 PM EST
    ... for tightening the South Florida condo belt support.

    A Democrat endorsed a Democrat (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by myiq2xu on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 05:01:04 PM EST
    Will wonders never cease?

    A Dem Who Campaigned For W in 2004 (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by daring grace on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 06:19:02 PM EST
    And a popular former Jewish mayor of New York City who wasn't endorsing Obama until Palin was nominated.

    It could have resonance in some useful quarters.


    Ed Koch? Eewwwwwww... (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by stefystef on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:21:15 PM EST
    Don't get me started about this man, honest.  He left NYC a mess, leaving David Dinkins with a city he couldn't manage.

    He was mayor of New York City for 4 terms, 3 terms too many.  Because of him, we have term limits in NYC and Bloomberg is trying to figure out how to get around it.

    Koch endorsed W last time.  Koch's endorsement means nothing to us New Yorkers.  Nothing.


    Never Been My Cup of Tea Either (none / 0) (#64)
    by daring grace on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 11:01:31 AM EST
    Not at all.

    But some folks still like him so maybe in some places (hard to believe) his endorsement still has relevance.

    We'll see. Though actually we probably won't since I doubt the numbers he can sway are enormous. But they may come in some key corners for Obama.


    Which useful quarters? (none / 0) (#67)
    by Iphie on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 11:09:58 AM EST
    As stefystef noted, Ed Koch is a tainted political figure. I can't imagine anyone in NY being swayed by his endorsement (where it doesn't matter anyway -- if Barack Obama needs Ed Koch's help in NY, then Obama is in big, big trouble), and anyone who believes that Koch has pull with anyone outside of NY probably also believed that Rudy Giuliani ever had anything more than a snowball's chance at being elected President. They both have enormous influence in their own minds and only there.

    latest PPP poll in Florida (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by athyrio on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:35:19 PM EST
    Holy Smokes (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by athyrio on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 04:10:46 PM EST
    these charges against Palin must be backfiring...look at this SurveyUSA poll in North Carolina dated today....



    trying link again (5.00 / 0) (#24)
    by athyrio on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 04:12:28 PM EST
    This does not surprise me one bit (none / 0) (#61)
    by stefystef on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:24:42 PM EST
    The idea that those voters in NC who voted for Obama in the primaries was actually going to vote for him in the November.

    And with any luck (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 04:19:13 PM EST
    Obama will be convinced to abandon the state.

    My suspicion is that it's an outlier, though. It should not be this divergent form Virginia.


    Actually it could be andgarden IMO (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by athyrio on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 04:30:34 PM EST
    because I was raised in NC and born in VA and IMO they are quite different..but maybe the demographics have changed...I dont really know...I spoke with my cousin in VA the other night and she said her neighbors were all excited about Palin....She is an independent and is "right now" leaning toward McCain camp so who knows....She is from the eastern part of the state on an island in the chesapeake bay....

    Seems to me (none / 0) (#31)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 04:37:09 PM EST
    that NC is sort of a cross between VA and TN.  It's a big state, after all.

    like CA sideways (none / 0) (#51)
    by bigbay on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 07:16:15 PM EST
    Like California, the different parts of the state are almost unrelated. The Eastern part is a former Jesse Helms stronghold with an old south feel, the middle is full of universities and knowledge workers, the west is part mountain men and part retired liberals.How's that for some stereotypes ?

    I grew up in the Eastern section (tidewater)


    On Openleft, there was a front page post (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by tigercourse on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 05:46:40 PM EST
    about how good a chance Obama has in Montana. Of course, an hour later a poll comes out showing him down 11. Some people still don't get where this fight is going to take place.

    No (none / 0) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 05:32:05 PM EST
    you should expect Obama to do worse than Kerry in NC.He may not be 20 pts ahead but don't be surprised to see him lose the state by around 15%.

    You know (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:36:51 PM EST
    Very few groups of people annoy me as much as the bed-wetting "9/11 Democrats" like Ed Koch and Dennis Miller.  Yeah, yeah, only George Bush can keep us safe, tell me another one.

    But I do know a few people in this subgroup, folks whom I consider to obsess over national security for no good reason, and they really do seem to have been freaked out by the Palin pick.  Is some of it gender-based, yeah it probably is, but one way or another they are panicked at the thought that someday Gov. Palin might be the person with the responsibility of protecting us against the next 9/11.  So Koch's stance is a bit of a signifier.

    Gender based? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by andgarden on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:45:22 PM EST
    Well, probably not for Koch. I think he backed Hillary.

    In any case, yeah, I know a few such people. But they are a distinct minority in the population of Jews I know (who are overwhelmingly Democrats).

    I think FL is gonna be tough, still.


    I know a few Jewish voters (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by litigatormom on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:54:55 PM EST
    who also have also had this preoccupation with Bush as Protector From Terrorism. Most of them favored Clinton in the primaries. Some will vote for Obama, but a few will probably go for McCain.

    Amusing aside: Ed Koch once wrote a book called Rudy Giuliani: Nasty Man.


    Bush as Protector From Terrorism (none / 0) (#35)
    by bridget on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 05:07:50 PM EST
    And there was Ron Silver -

    don't know what he is up to right now but during the 2004 election coverage he used to sit on the MSNBC panel identified as a liberal but loving Bush, the Iraq war ......


    According to this 2004 WaPo (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by litigatormom on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 08:42:28 PM EST
    article, Silver campaigned for Bill Bradley in 2000, and was an "avowed liberal" until September 11, 2001, which "changed everything" for him.

    In 2004, at the GOP convention, Silver claimed that if Bush won, on the day after the election he would be on the "opposite side of the barricades" on social issues.

    We can see how much good that did.


    I do not mean (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 04:04:08 PM EST
    that these people think that no woman could possibly protect the country.  Rather, I simply think they are far more dismissive of Palin than they would be of a man with a similar resume.  I just couldn't imagine these people flipping out quite so seriously over the hypothetical nomination of Tim Kaine, first-term governor.

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 04:06:53 PM EST
    Biden (none / 0) (#32)
    by Coral on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 04:52:39 PM EST
    Biden looks a lot better than Kaine to these folks, so I'm glad he's there.

    Some Jewish friends of mine are really freaking out over Palin now that the polls are showing McCain in the lead or at least tied.


    Good (none / 0) (#38)
    by Claw on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 05:27:36 PM EST
    They should be freaking out.  Not because they are Jewish but because they are going to have to live in the United States for the next 4-8 years.  The big problem with Palin isn't that she's a religious nut; it's that she's managed to accumulate a pretty impressive resume of scandal/incompetence in an extremely short period of time IN ALASKA.

    Like... what? (none / 0) (#52)
    by blcc on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 07:24:35 PM EST
    I have no idea what you're talking about.  She seems more than competent to me.  Can you clarify?

    I was opposed to Obama (none / 0) (#58)
    by litigatormom on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 08:48:52 PM EST
    picking Kaine for exactly that reason.  A one-half term governor isn't my idea of a VP, male or female.

    The one area where I think the attacks on Palin may have been tinged with sexism are some of the complaints that she should not be campaigning or acting as VP when she has five kids, one of whom is pregnant and one of whom is an infant with special needs. If I had been in Palin's place, I personally would not have chosen to become a national figure at the very moment that my daughter's condition was most likely to become fodder for national gossip, but I don't think that Bristol's pregnancy, or Trig's disability, would prevent her from performing her duties -- if I thought she otherwise had the necessary qualifications.


    Koch Not Gender Based In His Decision (none / 0) (#47)
    by daring grace on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 06:21:35 PM EST
    Although in his announcement or interview in Newsday he refers to Palin as...(get ready)...plucky.

    One of those words you never hear applied to men.


    I've heard "plucky" applied to men (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by litigatormom on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 08:49:56 PM EST
    "Perky" is the word I never here applied to men.

    Plucky Fellow! (none / 0) (#65)
    by daring grace on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 11:04:19 AM EST
    I like that.

    A little Gilbert & Sullivan maybe.

    Yeah plucky has it all over perky...if only just in the sound of the two of them it sounds more muscled.


    Since I've always considered (none / 0) (#54)
    by tootired on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 07:39:26 PM EST
    "plucky" to be a compliment, I'll let it pass. ;^)

    Really? (2.00 / 1) (#56)
    by blcc on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 07:48:44 PM EST
    The condescending element is crystal clear to me.

    Perhaps you need new lenses?


    Perhaps (none / 0) (#62)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:00:32 PM EST
    But I have heard it applied to a duck.

    Pluck A Duck (none / 0) (#66)
    by daring grace on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 11:05:58 AM EST
    is certainly more poetic (rhyme-y) than the chicken alternative--though I guess they're flickers, not pluckers.

    Why is Koch so confident (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:37:52 PM EST
    Obama supports the issues Koch specifies?  

    I agree with you Oculus (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by athyrio on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:41:14 PM EST
    Why, indeed??

    Check his (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by eric on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:50:07 PM EST
    website ;)

    Seriously, I don't think that there is any question Obama does support all of these things.  And I am not a water carrying Obamabot.


    please explain (2.00 / 0) (#29)
    by wystler on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 04:35:02 PM EST
    how can one agree with a question?

    or are you taking an inference, and agreeing thereon ...


    Picky, picky (none / 0) (#33)
    by eric on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 04:56:01 PM EST
    However, I would like to add that instead of "thereon", I believe it would be more proper to say "therewith".  He agrees "with" the inference, not "on" the inference.



    In His Statements I've Read (none / 0) (#48)
    by daring grace on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 06:25:09 PM EST
    Mayor Koch seems to be saying he's more worried about Palin as VP than he is of Obama as President.

    Oh, in one I saw him list some policies he expected Obama to be in agreement with him on, but really the story seems to be he finds Governor Palin 'scary'. He cited the librarian issue for one.


    Maybe I'm naive (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by JAB on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:48:13 PM EST
    But why is this a big deal?  He's a Dem and former mayor of NY.  I would be more surprised if he DIDN'T endorse Obama.

    But Koch is not consistent (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by shoephone on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 04:14:20 PM EST
    I recieved numerous mailers from him in the last two elections in which he vowed his support for Bush and Cheney and Republicans, precisely because of 9-11. I was targeted for the mailings because I am Jewish (Israel was mentioned front and center in those mailings) something I deeply resented. The way I see it, Koch is for Koch. I think he is forever fighting his last electoral loss.

    Bottom line, he is a Democrat when it suits his purposes to be one.


    It is in (none / 0) (#14)
    by eric on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:52:25 PM EST
    the post.

    Former New York Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat who has supported both Republicans and Democrats in the past

    And there's the Jewish factor.  He has a lot of support in the Jewish community.


    A lot compared to whom? (none / 0) (#68)
    by Iphie on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 11:22:36 AM EST
    It has been decades since he ran for elected office so it is difficult to quantify his support or even to define it. If you mean to say that because he is Jewish that he has any real impact on Jewish voters and their choices, I have to disagree with you on that one -- he certainly didn't help Bush.

    Other Ed Koch endorsements (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by goldberry on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:56:47 PM EST
    from his wiki page:
    Since leaving office, he has frequently endorsed prominent Republican candidates, including Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg for Mayor, Al D'Amato for U.S. Senate, George Pataki for Governor, and, in 2004, George W. Bush for President of the United States.

    Koch is quirky.  Definitely more like a Bloomberg than a true blue Democrat.  That's not to say that he's not right about Palin.  But he has had some faulty judgements in the past.  
    Giuliani?  Bush?  Talk about scary.  

    Calling him "like Bloomberg" is frankly (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by andgarden on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:59:21 PM EST
    a complement he doesn't deserve.

    Agree. (none / 0) (#22)
    by nycstray on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 04:09:44 PM EST
    As a New Yorker (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by stillife on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 05:15:34 PM EST
    I'm not impressed.  Never was a Koch fan.

    I assume this is a grab for the FL vote, or could Obama be in trouble in NY?

    Me neither. (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by lentinel on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 05:53:13 PM EST
    I lived in N.Y.
    Koch is one scary dude.
    The city never recovered.
    The union movement suffered.
    The Village, once a haven for artists, became a high rent district.
    Giuliani finished the job, but Koch started it.

    And his previous picks include GW Bush.

    This is not meant as an endorsement of Palin, but we need a better spokesperson than old Ed Koch.


    Meet the Senator Most Likely to Start a Nuclear (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by bridget on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 05:28:49 PM EST

    Let's talk really "SCARY" for once - and it is not Palin IMHO

    The Real McCain

    Information about McCain you don't ever get from the mainstream media pundits and reporters who for the last two decades fawned over McCain and wrote the hero narrative for him.

    Is this good company to keep? (3.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Roz on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 04:17:09 PM EST
    Emails and conspiracy rumors plague Palin.

    With good reason, Sarah Palin has been touted as the right's answer to Barack Obama. And in one especially important way, her abrupt rise from obscurity has given her something else in common with the Democratic nominee: she has catalyzed a fevered subculture of forwarded emails and viral conspiracy theories.

    Now the race is on, as it was with Obama, for Palin to define herself against an onslaught of negative portrayals.

    Obama's campaign has made no attempt to challenge the Republican portrayal of her as "living breathing a replica of the middle class" (as a former White House official put it). But that narrative is being challenged online by a flood of rumor, half-truth, lies, and speculation defining her as an American exotic, a countrified stranger with mysterious but strong religious beliefs, a confusing personal story, and extreme politics.

    This is news? (none / 0) (#1)
    by kenosharick on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:31:35 PM EST
    Outside of NY this might actually help mccain/palin. Maybe in NY.

    yes, it is (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by wystler on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:33:52 PM EST
    Ed Koch is a bellwether for the Dems who occassionally stray because their candidate is not deemed a Friend to Israel. This should be sufficient to firm up NJ, and should work wonders in Florida.

    The "bellwether" who (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by tree on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 05:45:16 PM EST
    endorsed Bush in 2004?

    Guess so. (none / 0) (#55)
    by oldpro on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 07:45:56 PM EST
    Bush won.

    exactly (none / 0) (#69)
    by wystler on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 11:45:18 AM EST
    he is a not so much a leader as he is an indicator of a constituency that had trouble with John Kerry

    proof? compare vote totals in south florida (2000 v. 2004)


    Does nothing for this NY'er.... (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 03:54:53 PM EST
    Ed Koch was the first politician I learned to love to dislike.

    It was personal, his name was on the bottom of the sign that informed me and the neighborhood kids that our local ballfields were closed for "renovations" (they were in fine shape by NYC standards, btw), not to be re-opened for 2 years.  I'm still mad at him 20 years later:)


    Remember the Village Voice Contest (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by daring grace on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 06:29:10 PM EST
    to write an epitaph for Koch?

    There were the requisite "How'm I doin' NOW?' versions, but the winner?

    Here lies Ed Koch. So what else is new?


    This May Hurt Obama in Upstate New York (none / 0) (#50)
    by daring grace on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 06:34:17 PM EST
    (tonue in cheek)

    Where we still recall Mayor Koch's own version of 'bitter, clinging' remarks which, unlike Obama's were said FOR national publication:

    "Mayor Edward I. Koch, just days after declaring his candidacy for governor in 1982, showed up in a Playboy magazine article deriding Albany as "small-town life at its worst," upstate living as "wasting time in a pickup truck when you have to drive 20 miles to buy a gingham dress or a Sears, Roebuck suit," and, for good measure, suburban living as "sterile -- wasting your life."

    Michelle Shocked (none / 0) (#53)
    by WakeLtd on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 07:36:44 PM EST
    Wrote a song about a kid - a graffiti "artist" - shot dead by New York police during Ed's culture war in New York City. "Graffiti Limbo" it was called. I guess Ed Koch knows scary.

    Clairvoyant ? (none / 0) (#63)
    by NYShooter on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 01:40:00 AM EST
    Sam Stein
    The Huffington Post
    May 7, 2008  

    "I believe Obama probably will win [the Democratic nomination],

     And that he will be the candidate and that he will lose."
     "the party is walking needlessly and unaware into a general election buzzsaw. "

    Ed Koch: "Obama Is A Sure Loser, Clinton Should stay in the race"