Politics Is Nastier and Harder Today

Question: Are there any trends in politics now that disturb you?

Ed Koch: Things have changed. When I was in the Congress, I would have dinner every night because I didn't have a family and there were other members of the Congress who didn't have their families there. And we went out and had dinner. Today, I'm told, it's a rarity to have people who are of different parties, that is to say, Democrats having dinner with Republicans and visa versa. And that's bad. That's very, very bad. I mean the idea that politics have taken such hold that it bars friendships.

Question: Is the current recession worse than the one that hit New York in the 1970s?

Ed Koch: Well, I think it's worse today than it was then and the reasons are very simple. We were then the only city asking for special help that I can recall from the Congress, from the state legislature. Whereas today, almost every city in America has the financial problems that we do on a lesser scale, and some may be on a higher scale. So, I believe that the current Mayor, Mike Bloomberg, is doing a magnificent job, and has problems that are greater than mine.

Party divisions ruin friendships, and New York is just one of many cities begging Washington for fiscal relief.

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