Last night, Michael Bloomberg hosted former mayor Ed Koch’s 84th birthday party at Gracie Mansion, where the focus quickly turned to the current mayor’s second re-election campaign.
Many former Koch aides crammed into the main room on the first floor, where Bloomberg and Koch were joined by Koch’s old rival Mario Cuomo, and Koch’s former chief of staff Diane Coffey.
Coffey thanked Bloomberg for hosting the Koch birthday bash again, and said she and others “stand ready to canvass again, in Queens. Send us to Weiner territory,” referring to Representative Anthony Weiner, one Bloomberg’s likely challengers. Then, for effect, Coffey added, “Yes we can.”
Everyone laughed and applauded.
Also running are City Comptroller Bill Thompson and City Councilman Tony Avella of Queens.
A number of political observers, including Weiner but not Koch, see numerous similarities between the two. (This was apparently, at least at one time, something Weiner considered to be a good thing.) One guest at this very party told me Weiner was the “second coming of Koch.”
Later, as Koch was walking out, he told me that Weiner “is probably the leading opponent to Mike.” Koch went on, “I think he’s a very able guy. I’m not going to compare anybody, but he’s an able guy. But Mike is much better.”
Other highlights from the party:
Hearing Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey greeting former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr., saying loudly, “Here’s my guy!”; walking by Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs as one party-goer asked her, “Are you ready for another four years?”