John Cassidy @ The New Yorker - Ed Koch, who has died, at the age of eighty-eight, always had a sense of timing—or maybe he just made a Faustian pact with the fates. During his 1977 mayoral run, which started with him as the outsider in a Democratic field that included Mario Cuomo, Bella Abzug, and the incumbent, poor old Abe Beame, the city suffered an infamous blackout with widespread looting. Koch, who was running on a law-and-order platform, was the principal beneficiary. After defeating Cuomo and the others, he served three terms in City Hall, during which time he became a national figure (and international one, actually); wrote a best-selling book that was turned into an Off Broadway show; retained popular support while, at some point, infuriating almost everybody; and, finally, suffered defeat at the hands of the courtly David Dinkins, a politician who was in many ways his polar opposite. Read more.