Rebellious is different. “The Pitch” was the name of the format of the Junge Union, with which the CDU party youth brought the three opponents for the chairmanship on a stage on Saturday evening.
After 20 years with a woman at the helm, Angela Merkel for 18 years and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer for two years, it is now likely that a man will lead the “only Christian Democratic People’s Party in Europe” (according to Friedrich Merz).
The JU has thus oriented itself a little on the casting tour of the initially eight SPD applicant duos last year. The tiredness that arose after the candidates’ tour of the republic is no longer present this time. One evening would not be enough for that.
But that does not mean that the Junge Union worked out any controversies between Laschet, Merz and Röttgen. Rather, it was a bizarre mix between the show elements of the US election campaign and social democratic sluggishness.
For 100 minutes, the party youth gave the three West German candidates the key word. And not troublemakers, which would have been their right. When the topic of sustainability came up, the curiosity revolved around financial issues and not the environment. Movements like Fridays for Future did not occur at all.
But again and again: digitization, digitization, digitization. The question of gender equality was also not raised: Although the questioners were quoted internally, it was only by chance. Why doesn’t a woman (anymore) reach for the CDU top office? The Junge Union doesn’t seem to care. And the risks of pulling Merkel into a Bundestag election campaign without a candidate for Chancellor were not discussed.
Ruinous competition? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that!
A few weeks ago, Kramp-Karrenbauer feared a “ruinous competition” for her successor. So far there is no evidence that this will happen. Laschet, Merz and Röttgen may tick very differently when it comes to their relationship with Angela Merkel. But they don’t attack one another hard. Rather, they face the competition in a friendly manner.
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Perhaps a foretaste of what Union parliamentary group leader Ralph Brinkhaus says about the federal party conference in Stuttgart, which is still scheduled for December despite the corona crisis: “Rock the hall with enthusiasm – it won’t work.”
And the winner will be? Of course, that cannot be said after the JU “pitch”. Röttgen seemed superior rhetorically, but he remains the outsider. Laschet can score with government experience – and stands for the old west. Merz meanwhile continues to qualify in contrast to Merkel. Overall, the CDU has always been further and more modern.