Friday, February 01, 2013

RIP Mr. Mayor

Picture from Fox News
Ed Koch passed away at age 88 this morning at 2 am.

He hadn't been in the greatest of health for a while, and I talked about him on September 5 of last year.

Just to reiterate what I said then - he may have been a Democrat, but I really learned to respect him when he was on a morning talk show on the USA network back in the mid nineties. His chutzpah, practical solutions and willingness to sacrifice public opinion for results really made an impression. I doubt the man ever consulted a poll before deciding what to do - an ability few politicians master. He was about as foreign to me as another US citizen could be. He was definitely Jewish - rarely seen out here on the prairie and unfamiliar to me, and he may have even been gay:
Koch was a champion of gay rights, taking on the Roman Catholic Church and scores of political leaders. A lifelong bachelor, Koch offered a typically blunt response to questions about his own sexuality: “My answer to questions on this subject is simply, `F— off.’ There have to be some private matters left.”
I don't care if he was gay or was not. What I do care about is his attitude expressed. It was his business; end of story, no agenda here. I admire that.

The mayor dismissed his critics as “wackos,” waged verbal war with developer Donald Trump (“piggy”) and mayoral successor Rudolph Giuliani (“nasty man”), lambasted the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and once reduced the head of the City Council to tears. 
“I’m not the type to get ulcers,” he wrote in “Mayor,” his autobiography. “I give them.”

It would be easy to dismiss someone with an attitude like that, but the Mayor was successful and essentially, he backed up what he said with results. Very hard to argue with that, as far as I'm concerned.

Yannow those lists of historical people you'd like to all have gathered together for dinner and discussions? Ed Koch would have to be on my list. He'd liven that party up fer sure.

So, I bid you adieu, Mr. Mayor. You "done good."

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