President Clinton, Mayor Bloomberg to Speak at Ed Koch’s Funeral

By
In this March 23, 2010 file photo, former New York Mayor Ed Koch speaks during a publicity event in New York. Koch is keeping tabs on the Democratic National Convention while undergoing a battery of hospital tests. A spokesman for the ex-Democratic mayor says Koch might not get out of the hospital Wednesday, as he'd originally hoped. Koch felt weak over the weekend while staying with friends in North Carolina. He was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012,  with anemia.
Photo: Seth Wenig/AP/Corbis

On Monday, New York's political and cultural elites will congregate in full-on remembrance mode at Temple Emanu-El on the Upper East Side to remember the one, the only Ed "Howmidoin?" Koch. The former mayor, whose often acerbic, always amusing wit kept him in the public eye long after he'd left Gracie Mansion and put New York back on (a more) solid financial footing, died yesterday at the age of 88. Koch's longtime friend and spokesman George Arzt tells the Post that former President Bill Clinton — who got to know Koch during his involvement in Hillary's 2008 presidential bid — is cutting short a trip to Japan to deliver remarks on behalf of President Obama, who will not attend. Meanwhile, NY1 confirms that Mayor Michael Bloomberg will give the eulogy, which he previewed at a ceremony yesterday marking Grand Central Terminal's centennial.

"The whole city was crumbling, and then we elected Ed Koch," Bloomberg, who back in 1978 was still a banker at Salomon Brothers, remembered. "When we were down, Ed Koch picked us up. When we were worried, he gave us confidence. When someone needed a good kick in the rear, he gave it to them – and, if you remember, he enjoyed it." While certainly a somber occasion, Koch's rowdy, gritty, man of the people myth will no doubt be warmly remembered by the many speakers and well-wishers. Yet perhaps no tribute is more apt than the planned finale: A rousing musical rendition of that ageless soaring classic, "New York, New York."