Until his death Friday morning, Ed Koch has been seen as something of a bellwether of where Jewish liberal-hawks stood on the question of whether Democrats (and one Democratic president in particular) were going soft in their support for Israel.
Koch backed W. in 2004, then disappointed Jewish GOPers by endorsing Barack Obama four years later. Then Koch turned on Obama, signaling his displeasure by endorsing the Republican candidate to replace Anthony Weiner in Congress — before saying the president had seen the light on Israel and endorsing him against Mitt Romney.
In case you missed it… Koch soured on Obama again, after his nomination of Chuck Hagel. Well, not quite again. It turns out he had never stopped worrying about Obama on Israel.
Here’s what he told the Algemeiner a few weeks ago:
“Frankly, I thought that there would come a time when he would renege on what he conveyed on his support of Israel,” said Koch, adding, “it comes a little earlier than I thought it would.”
So why did Koch decide to endorse Obama for reelection?
“I did what I thought was warranted and intelligent,” he said, “He was going to win! There was no question about it. I thought it would be helpful to have a Jewish voice there, being able to communicate.”
The Mayor says he has no regrets, “it wouldn’t make any difference. The Jews were going to vote for him no matter what. And that’s the nature of the Jews. They are always very solicitous of everybody else except their own needs and community.”