Zu one of Reiner Haseloff’s preferred verbs is “durchsteuern”. The Minister-President of Saxony-Anhalt associates the word with less brutal “governing” or “fine-tuning” down to the last detail. With Haseloff’s “steering through” it is more about reaching a somehow meaningful goal in spite of conflicting interests, seemingly endless procedural steps and countless other caveats. This requires flexibility – as a politician you must never commit yourself too much. But also clarity, because as a politician you have to commit to certain things.
One of the personal determinations of the CDU politician Reiner Haseloff is above all that he will never and under no circumstances make common cause with the AfD. Haseloff committed to this position very early on. His opinion was clear after looking deeply into the eyes of the politicians of the new party at the very beginning. Haseloff’s rejection of the AfD is trusted in the state capital Magdeburg in all parliamentary groups, including the AfD itself. When Interior Minister Holger Stahlknecht rattled this commitment in December, Haseloff immediately summoned him and dismissed him.
The price for Haseloff’s clarity at this point was that he had to be flexible elsewhere. Since 2016 the Prime Minister has been conducting the political experiment “Kenya” from the Union, SPD and Greens. The pious Catholic from Lutherstadt Wittenberg took on the role of moderator and negotiated compromises that were sometimes difficult to endure for his own faction. But also the CDU MPs finally had to realize that their chances of being re-elected with Haseloff are the best. After ten years in office, the prime minister is the most famous politician in the country. In fact, you have to say: Haseloff is the only known politician in the country.
It was originally planned that the 67-year-old physicist would hand over his office to younger hands in order to have more time with his wife in Wittenberg, with their two sons and five grandchildren. But to whom should Haseloff handed over the office? The two successor candidates André Schröder and Holger Stahlknecht have each lost their ministerial offices. The new CDU state chairman, Sven Schulze, is still too unknown. And in the end only he himself knows whether Haseloff could actually make friends with the withdrawal from politics. Power is a goddess with fetters. So Reiner Haseloff came up again as the top candidate and is still ready to “steer through”.