Ben Smith reports in Politico that, in Ed Koch’s opinion, American Jews are warming to President Barack Obama. By which Koch means they’re complaining less, by email, to him. Koch makes a point of responding to every letter and email that gets sent to him, and considering his continued influence in the political sphere, his sample group is worth considerating.
According to Smith:
The president’s rising fortunes among Jewish voters, at least according to Koch’s brand of polling, may face a critical test in the coming months; whether Washington stands in support if Israel decides to take military action to halt Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons. In perhaps the most important sign of Obama’s strengthened pro-Israel credentials, Koch and others have come to believe that if the Netanyahu government bombs Iranian installations, Obama will back them; and that an American strike isn’t out of the question.
“This is an existential threat to Western civilization,” said Koch. “I think that the president and others have recognized that and will do whatever is required to keep our nation safe.”
Marc Tracy emphasized Koch’s influence in September, particularly the significance of his endorsement of Obama for re-election after playing a key role in New York’s ninth district electing a Republican in the special election:
And this is important for two related reasons. First, it’s a sign that the administration/campaign’s charm offensive—beginning with the embassy rescue, continuing to the unequivocal support Obama offered Israel at the United Nations in both his deeds and his speech, and going through the new revelations of heightened military-to-military cooperation—are having an impact on convincing fence-sitting American Jews that Obama is their friend. Second, it’s important because, as Tevi Troy presciently wrote many months ago in Tablet Magazine, Koch is the emblematic figure of this sort, whom Democratic candidates need on their side.
But let’s not lose sight of what is possibly the best part of this story: Ed Koch’s correspondence. BuzzFeed has a collection of several emails, which Koch’s assistant prints out and gives to him and upon which he writes responses by hand, which then get typed up and sent. That is dedication.
His best response? “Please point out one ‘canard’ in my statement.”
Israel hawks warm to Obama [Politico]
Ed Koch Defends Obama On Israel By Sending “Hand-Written” Emails [BuzzFeed]
Related: Koch Test [Tablet Magazine]
Earlier: Koch Back Obama for ’12