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Sarah Palin is 'scary,' former N.Y. Mayor Ed Koch says

September 9, 2008 | 10:47 am

The Sarah Palin phenomenon may have taken many voters by storm, but not Ed Koch.

The former Democratic mayor of New York, who since leaving that office has become a frequent endorser of Republicans, calls Palin "scary."

He offered that characterization to Ben Smith of in explaining his decision today to formally back Barack Obama in the presidential race.

In his endorsement statement, he termed Palin "a plucky, exciting candidate." (See video below.) But he added that "when her record is examined, she fails miserably with respect to her views on the domestic issues that are so important to the people of the U.S., and to me. Frankly, it would scare me if she were to succeed John McCain in the presidency."

In his chat with Smith, Koch elaborated on his concerns about Palin, citing the widely circulated claim that as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, she indicated an interest in banning some books at the local library. As the Ticket previously noted, that report seems, at the least, exaggerated.

Koch, true to his New York roots, had backed Hillary Clinton's presidential bid. But in 2004, he gained a lot of ink when he stumped for President Bush's reelection. And previously, he had supported Republicans Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg in their successful runs for mayor of the city over which he once presided. And, at the statewide level in New York, he backed former GOP Sen. Al D'Amato and former GOP Gov. George Pataki.

-- Don Frederick