The late great Ed Koch was perhaps the most defining politician of my lifetime. A New York Jew who never backed down from a fight and never shied away from an opinion, no matter how controversial.
It was the Mayor who first introduced me to the concept that politicians could be people too. The Mayor was not an ideologue, scripted to say what the people "wanted" to hear. No, he said what the people "needed" to hear. He did so with a quick wit and smile that easily disarmed his foes but most importantly he knew what he was talking about. Donald Trump was "piggy", Rudolph Giuliani was "that nasty man." In his autobiography he wrote, "I'm not the type to get ulcers, I give them."
He was a self described "liberal with sanity", not afraid to cross party lines. He supported President Bush during the 2004 Primary. He also supported Michael Bloomberg when the Mayor was still running as a Republican. He had little use for the Rev. Jesse Jackson, whose hymie-town comment lived on in Koch's mind for eternity.
Mayor Koch's work is still not done. As an ardent supporter of Israel, the tiny nation still faces great challenges. Though he kept his sexual life personal, the lifelong bachelor was a champion of gay rights. We as Americans, still have unfinished business to conclude, perhaps even on his behalf.
There's a buzz in heaven today. A good one at that. Rest In Peace, Mayor. By the way, you're doing just fine!