“I think the message is, don’t take the Jewish constituency for granted – and this district has the largest Jewish constituency in the nation,” Koch said at the time. Mr. Turner went on to win in the heavily Democratic district, thanks in large part to Koch’s endorsement, including taped robocalls.
In November 1997, Koch admitted he had voted for Rudolph Giuliani, a Republican, for a second term as mayor of New York, saying he felt the quality of life had improved under his administration. But Koch also said he disliked Mr. Giuliani's bullying style.
“If you are not a sycophant, he destroys you,” he told the Monitor.
Koch always stood ready to explain the complexities of politics – no matter that the issue didn't involve him. For instance, Giuliani faced a hard choice in 1994: whether to endorse sitting Gov. Mario Cuomo for reelection or fellow Republican George Pataki, then a state senator.
If Giuliani were to endorse Mr. Cuomo, Koch reasoned, the backing could come back to haunt him. “Pataki will carry a grudge,” he said. “You have certain expectations as a politician, and if they are not fulfilled, you feel betrayed.”