Just two weeks ago, former New York Mayor Ed Koch was telling city voters to elect a Republican to Congress, to "send a huge message to President Obama that we're not happy with how he's dealing with Israel."
Now, one speech to the United Nations and a one-on-one chat later, Koch is an enthusiastic backer of the same president's reelection.
The one-time Democrat tells his supporters that it's all water under the Ed Koch Queensborough Bridge.
"I'm now on board the Obama Reelection Express," he says in an email to supporters.
Bob Turner, elected on Sept. 13 to fill the seat once held by Democratic Anthony Weiner, had made an issue in his campaign of Obama's position that Israel's borders before the 1967 Mideast war should be the baseline for peace talks, leaving unmentioned the caveat that there should be mutually agreed land swaps that would take into account the new realities on the ground.
That earned the endorsement of Koch, who in a recorded phone message to voters in the Jewish-heavy district said that signaling dissatisfaction with Obama's position was the "most important" reason to back Turner.
Koch now says he thinks Turner's win had the desired effect, pushing the U.S. to come out against a vote for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations and to return to direct negotiations with Israel.
In a subsequent interview with the New York Times, Koch says that "whatever rift existed before -- and there was one -- that's gone," and that he's ready to convince Jewish voters that Obama's the best candidate.
"His speech at the U.N. in support of Israel was extraordinary. I couldn't have made a better one myself," he told WNBC-TV in New York. "I have shoes and will travel to Florida or any place they want to go."Shorter version: Ed Koch is a flip-flopping hack.
It was bad enough that he pushed the idea that the 9th district election should be a "referendum" on Obama's Middle East policies, but now one good speech later and he's trying to sell himself as in Obama's corner again? Do us all a favor and just stay out of it, Ed.
Seriously, I know it's become a supposedly great badge of honor when a person sticks to their principles and is willing to work with people from both parties to advance those principles, but every time I hear about Ed Koch it sounds like he's screwing someone over. I don't think people should be slaves to political parties, but if you're going to have a political change of heart and become a neocon, do it like Reagan or Perry did and stick to your guns. Actually become a Republican or ideological conservative-- don't pull this pseudo-independent, wishy-washy, "I campaigned against you a mere three weeks ago, but now I've totally got your back" crap. Why should anyone trust a word that comes out of his mouth, Democrats or Republicans?
Honestly, if Ed Koch's opinion still carries weight with any voters, Jewish or otherwise, it's just more proof that some people shouldn't be allowed to vote.