Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ex-Mayor Endorses Obama

As befits a blog run by two historians, Greater New York likes to take the long view in its posts. Nevertheless, this blogger is embarrassed to admit that he missed an endorsement of Barack Obama by a former mayor of New York City that deserves some attention.

The endorsement of Obama by Ed Koch, reported by New York One, says something about Obama's ability to win over Democrats and independents. It also suggests how Sarah Palin could turn voters away from John McCain. In his statement on behalf of Obama, Koch said:
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.

Koch, of course, has been wildly erratic in his endorsements. In 2004 he backed Bush, largely because he thought he would be better for the security of Israel.

Such logic helped turn my beloved Aunt Tessie, a New Deal Democrat, into a Republican. But a Koch endorsement of Obama could help the Democratic candidate with Jewish voters like my aunt. And in a tight race in Florida, every vote will count. Are you listening, Aunt Tessie?

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