D.he candidate doesn’t seem to be able to do anything right. If he attacks the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party, that’s a recipe from the moth box. If he trusts the FDP to govern with the SPD and the Greens, he will split the bourgeois camp. If he does not distance himself from the other parties, he demobilizes the regular voters. If he eats an ice cream, he has not understood the seriousness of the situation.
So weren’t they right? Those in the CDU and CSU who always knew that the Union would have sent Söder into the race better than Laschet, or at least Merz? The doubters and warners see themselves confirmed by the falling values of the Union in the opinion polls. So much so that just a few weeks before the election some of them are thinking of an act of desperation: to replace the draft horse. It also recommends external advice to the Union parties, although this is not always guided by benevolence.
Laschet could not dispel doubts
Laschet is not innocent of criticism pounding on him. He did and is difficult to present a political agenda that is (only) connected to his name. Where does he want to preserve Merkel’s legacy, where dare to do something new? Although he governs the most populous country in the Federal Republic of Germany well and silently, he has not been able to dispel doubts about his determination and drive.
It is true that Laschet won the long struggle for the party chairmanship and the tough fight against Söder for the candidacy for chancellor, which many had not believed him capable of. However, he did not enter into a competition with the loser who followed, who marched through German politics with more legs apart, but also more agile. And then Laschet laughed in the valley of the flood and tears. This scene was enough for many to finally say: He can’t! At least not as well as the other could have! Most certainly!
In the vicious circle of polls and malicious comments
But anyone who has once been labeled a “loser” by the German public will find it difficult to get rid of this reputation. Then a vicious circle of bad poll results and malicious comments begins. Once the herd of critics has set off, it hardly comes to a standstill. Some in the CDU and CSU even drive them on by lamenting Laschet and speculating about his replacement.
Nobody with a spark of political understanding can still consider such a step possible and promising. Even simple Union spirits should be clear, however, that such fantasies harm the candidate and push the percentages further down. If the Union continues like this, it will lose the election.
Since the CSU chairman Söder is a very intelligent person, his behavior in particular raises questions. Does he still have so little control of his disappointment at having to hand over the candidacy to Laschet that it repeatedly breaks through audibly and visibly? Or is there political calculation behind it?
Then the next candidate for Chancellor is Söder
If Laschet becomes chancellor, he will probably want to run again in four years. And who knows how often after that. Not many had bet on Merkel’s 16 years either. But if Laschet loses, then the Union’s next candidate for chancellor will be Söder – if he gets a better result in Bavaria in 2023 than in the last state election. In 2018, the CSU drove under the Franconian superman with 37.2 percent, the worst result since 1950.
For Bavaria, Söder’s statement that he was “not in the mood for opposition” applies unreservedly; Preserving power in the Free State is the primary goal of the CSU. To oppose a federal government led by the SPD or the Greens from Munich as the Bavarian lion would not be a misfortune for Söder. Then he would not have to grudgingly support a Laschet government, but could let his talents run wild and again selflessly recommend himself as a bearer of hope.
Not even the Greens react in such panic
The laughing third, who can hardly get hold of his luck, doesn’t have to worry about that at the moment. Scholz can continue to follow his recipe for success and exercise the presidential, even noticeable, restraint that Germans like so much. After all, the Union works itself on its candidate with a thoroughness that only the SPD was capable of before. The Social Democrats seem to have learned from their misery, however, that at least in the election campaign they have to act as one heart and one soul if one wants to have a chance of victory. And when would it be greater than after Merkel’s departure?
Upside down world: Compared to the SPD, the CDU now looks like a bunch without discipline. Not even the Greens react to the low flight of their candidate as panicked as some Christian Democrats are now. This is also where the fact that the CDU was de facto leaderless for a long time and that Merkel has been following the motto since she was forced to relinquish the leadership takes its toll: You get that out of it. How one can believe that the party would become more vigorous and successful if it dismantled the next chairman after Kramp-Karrenbauer, the secret of those who want to see salvation in this remains.