NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– Seven mayors, eight governors, eight presidents… Harlem Representative Charles Rangel has seen them all during his 46 years in Congress.

Preparing to retire at the end of this session, he talked to WCBS 880‘s Jane Tillman Irving.

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Regarding former New York City mayor Ed Koch, Rangel said, “He was a showman, and I never was shy with the camera myself.”

As for Mayor De Blasio?

“New York cannot afford a clash between him and a democratic governor,” he said.

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Rangel also grew very sober on the topic of racism and President Barack Obama’s time in office.

“The underlying hatred that some people have for this president, I have truly underestimated,” he said.

So, is he pessimistic?

“No, no, no… I cannot think of anything more than what was given to me,” Rangel said. And that is the opportunity to serve.

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Rangel is widely known as one of the most influential lawmakers in the House of Representatives and is considered a prime contributor to Obama’s historic health care reform law.