As congressman representing a city district for three terms as mayor, Koch defended the interests of his city with all his strength. His trademark slogan “how am I doin’?” is one that will go down in history.
Even after his mayoralty, he still worked hard both as a lawyer and a counselor for new politicians trying to tap into the heart of New York.
Koch left an indelible mark on his city, and was a transcendent figure in a way that few Americans other than presidents are. Our current President can take away an important message from Koch.
Over the past four years, President Obama has been somewhat of an introvert on making decisions. Obama excels at campaigning, but he never really asks for the crowd’s opinion, like Koch did. When Obama does ask “how am I doin’?”, it’s almost always to senior advisers, not the American people.
The federal government in general has become somewhat sequestered in DC, with very few opinions other than their own being offered. They make decisions that affect the entire country, without taking into account what is best for their constituencies.
Let’s take the example of the NYC borough of Brooklyn, the 8th congressional district. It includes Coney Island, and is held by a Democrat. However, if you drive 12 blocks north, you find yourself in the 11th congressional district, held by the Republicans.
The fact of the matter is that the needs of people usually don’t change dramatically over the course of a mile or so. If one looks at these two congressmen’s voting records, you will see two drastically different pictures of what New York “needs.”
This really shows how split our nation is, in that two educated men believe that the best thing for their district is the exact opposite of what the guy representing the district three block over is doing.