Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
Aug 16, 2012 | 3781 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At least that’s the attitude that former Mayor Ed Koch has adopted. On Monday, he formally endorsed Assemblywoman Grace Meng in her bid to replace outgoing congressman Gary Ackerman.

Meng is being challenged in the race by Councilman Dan Halloran, who is running on the Republican line.

But just a short two months ago, Meng wasn’t good enough for Koch, or rather he liked someone else a lot better. In the four-way Democratic Primary in June, Koch instead endorsed Assemblyman Rory Lancman over Meng.

At the time, Koch said that he supported Lancman because he was the candidate that had the most support for Israel, which is pretty much the same thing he is saying again.

In a statement before the endorsement, which took place on the steps of City Hall, Koch criticized Halloran for his past support of Ron Paul, who during his recent presidential bid made headlines when he said he would support cutting foreign aid to Israel.

“Mr. Halloran’s support for Ron Paul’s presidential candidacy is a clear indication that he does not prioritize the sacred bond between the United States and Israel,” Koch’s statement read.

Support for Israel seems to be about the only thing Mr. Queensboro Bridge considers as a factor when choosing who to endorse.

Back in a 2011 special election, Mr. Q.B. chose to endorse Republican Bob Turner over fellow Democrat David Weprin for Congress as some sort of protest about the Obama Administration’s policies toward Israel.

Although, we guess it worked…Turner defeated Weprin and served a short stint in Washington before his seat was eliminated due to redistricting.

For his part, Halloran has said that he agrees with Paul’s economic policies, but disagrees with him on foreign policy. And to prove he’s serious, Halloran is actually traveling in Israel right now.

We don’t know what says “support” quite like a working vacation.

Going both ways

Speaking of joining the winners (at least when it comes to mayor in recent decades)…

Queens Democratic State Senator Malcolm Smith reportedly met with several of the city's GOP leaders – including Bronx GOP Chair Jay Savino and Manhattan GOP Chair Jay Isaacs - on Monday night at a steakhouse in Spanish Harlem about running on the Republican line in the upcoming mayoral election.

According to published reports, Smith reached out to the GOP leaders, not the other way around.

We’re not sure how serious to take all of these rumors about Smith actually running for mayor as a Republican. But regardless, all of this sneaking around with the other side can’t be making leaders in the Queens Democratic Party too happy.

Smith has been a fairly prominent official in the Democratic Party. Until the coup that saw two Democratic state senators jump ship and vote with Albany Republicans, bringing an already dysfunctional government to a complete standstill, Smith had been the first-ever African American Senate Majority Leader.

Ironically, now he is the one that is considering switching party affiliations and making the Democrats bid to regain the mayor’s office for the first time since 1994 all the more complicated.

If Smith did indeed run, he would siphon off votes in Democratic strongholds, most notably the area he currently represents, southeast Queens, which voted overwhelmingly for Bill Thompson when he challenged Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2010.

Which is probably the pitch that Smith is making to the GOP leaders: that he can get votes in neighborhoods that have traditionally voted staunchly Democratic.

The question is, do they think that Smith can get the support of neighborhoods and demographics that have tended to cross party lines and have kept Republicans in the most important seat in city government for the past two decades?

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