Maer Roshan: Suddenly, Michael Bloomberg – who, I should note, employs both of you – seems to be everyone’s favorite undeclared mayoral candidate. Why? Does running a successful business really qualify him to run a city as complex as this one?
Ed Koch: Maybe he just looks good compared to the bores he’s running against.
Al D’Amato: Laughs It’s true. People are looking for something different. Here’s a guy who’s made billions of dollars and is willing to devote his energies to the public sector. It’s a long shot, but he may end up being our next mayor.
M.R.: But no one is still really sure what his political positions are. Are you?
Al: Not really.
Ed: Me neither. I’m waiting to find out. I am committed to Peter Vallone so long as he is in the race. If he’s eliminated, I have two options. I could support one of these drab people left laughs, or I could support Bloomberg.
M.R.: Well, here’s one alternative to all the drab contenders. Bill Clinton, who – according to a recent poll – would, even now, kick the ass of any candidate out there.
Ed: That’s bullshit. Clinton has more important things to worry about. He not only risks being destroyed historically, like Afghanistan’s Buddha statues; he also could end up going to jail.
Al: I think they’ll have a difficult time prosecuting Clinton. But they could go after his cronies and relatives. But the biggest loser in all this is Hillary, whose presidential hopes have been forever smashed. I really believed she would be the Democratic candidate in 2004. Now she’ll be lucky to be re-elected. Bill can’t be too happy, either. Bartlett’s Quotations picked only three quotes from Bill Clinton for its new edition: “The definition of is,” “I did not inhale,” and “I did not have sex with that woman.” What a statement on his legacy.
M.R.: There has been a lot of concern recently about the health of Dick Cheney, who was recently hospitalized for heart problems for the second time in five months.
Ed: His doctors are going to kill him! He didn’t go to the right hospital or get the right treatment. They keep saying he didn’t have a heart attack, but what happened to him could be just as lethal. When one of your arteries shuts down, you can die! But they sent him back to work the next day!
M.R.: Arianna Huffington is urging Cheney to resign. When you have a leader who is often incapacitated, maybe he’s not healthy enough to carry out his duties.
Ed: Well, it isn’t true. He’s working, he’s out there. But his life may be shortened. When I had my heart attack, I had to recuperate for fourteen weeks! But they send Cheney skipping right back to the White House.
Al: I agree with Ed that you don’t rush somebody back to work after a crisis like this. I think they’re so concerned about public perception that Cheney’s well-being has been shortchanged.
M.R.: They might be rushing him back to the White House because they desperately need him there. Bush is the public face of this administration, but many believe Cheney’s the guy who really shapes and manages policy.
Ed: He’s crucial. Let me put it this way: There’s one guy who cuts the suits and another guy who sells them. Bush sells the suits. Laughs.
M.R.: Let’s move on to Timothy McVeigh. As you know, some of his victims’ family members are calling for his execution to be televised. What do you think?
Ed: I am not for public executions, though I support the death penalty. One, it’s an appropriate punishment in horrific cases, and two, it’s a deterrent. There are studies that say that for every person executed, eight innocent people who might otherwise have been murdered were not.
M.R.: Who conducted these studies, you?
Ed: My cousin! Laughs.
Al: Personally, I can’t think of anything more foolish than public execution. It’s wrong. I think liberals are promoting this idea so they can build support against the death penalty.
M.R.: You’re saying that if people actually saw what putting somebody to death looks like, they’d be appalled.
Al: They might be.
M.R.: What does that say about the death penalty?
Al: Listen, some crimes are so horrendous, it’s justified. Take the poor people murdered at Wendy’s. The death penalty is absolutely appropriate for the monsters who perpetrated that crime.
M.R.: Have either of you witnessed an execution?
Al: Oh, many, many times. Laughs On television!