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December 23, 2003
Ed Koch: I'm Voting Bush

Former New York Mayor and lifelong Democrat Ed Koch recently gave an impromptu speech regarding his support for George Bush for President. Koch apparently wasn't satisfied with the report printed in the Sun about his speech (although he blames himself for the confusion) and wants to set the record straight with this column in NewsMax:

After 9/11, the President announced the Bush Doctrine, which in my opinion rivals in importance the Monroe Doctrine, which barred foreign imperialism in the Western Hemisphere, and the Truman Doctrine, which sought to contain Communism around the world.

The Bush Doctrine, simply stated by the President before a joint session of Congress, is “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.” The President has applied that doctrine in Afghanistan and Iraq and has put other countries on notice that he will do so elsewhere, if necessary.

Of course, there are many other important foreign and domestic issues facing Americans. I do not agree with the President on any major domestic issue, ranging from tax relief to the recently enacted Medicare prescription drug law. But these concerns pale in comparison with the problem of international terrorism.

Koch explains his mildly surprising stance by stating that he doesn't find any of the current Democratic contenders trustworthy on the war on terror, save Lieberman, who he feels has no chance of getting the nomination. He takes the Democrats to task for voting to support the Iraq war last year but then "tacking to the wind" this year by denouncing the war to pander to the leftists. Israel, which the Sun reported was the main issue behind Koch's decision, does not cause problems with most of the candidates:

On the issue of my “concern for embattled Israel,” I believe all of the major Democratic candidates, with the exception of Howard Dean, have records of support for that country as our steadfast ally in the Middle East. They and the presidents from both the Democratic and Republican parties, beginning with Harry Truman, have been staunch supporters of the Jewish state.

So my reservation concerning the Democratic candidates is not with respect to their support for Israel, but with regard to their willingness to take on the ongoing battle against international terrorism, which threatens all countries.

Read the entire column. While I concur in Koch's choice, I find it curious that he passed up the opportunity to champion Lieberman with the party elite. And on that thought, I also find it odd that the party elite haven't settled on Lieberman instead of General Wesley Clark as their anti-Dean. Lieberman, after all, stood tall during the 2000 election and also provides, as Koch indicates, solid anti-terror credentials, perhaps the only candidate who can (Gephardt may be the other). Clark was a Republican until September, and spent the better part of the last two years toasting this administration. Gore infamously sold Lieberman out earlier this month, but why has the DLC not promoted him more, as one of the council's charter members? Could it be that the Clintons still resent the scolding Lieberman gave Bill Clinton from the floor of the Senate? Or could it be that they are afraid Lieberman may win against Bush and eliminate Hillary's shot in 2008?

No wonder Koch endorsed Bush. You need a scorecard to figure out all the backstabbing currently in play with the Democrats. (via Blogs for Bush)

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 23, 2003 11:02 PM

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