Tino Chrupalla has a nickname in the AfD that is not particularly nice, especially not for a top candidate. They call it a “brush”. This has to do with the fact that Chrupalla is a master painter from Görlitz and the brush was his tool for many years. But it also has to do with the fact that Chrupalla did not study, but one notices his masterful painterly quality in everyday life as a politician, which is why some say “brush” in the sense of “simpleton”. They say Chrupalla isn’t the brightest candle on the cake. They say Chrupalla is living proof that the AfD is no longer a professor’s party, but a proletarian party. And they say that the supposed weakness of being a master painter who stands up to the establishment could be Chrupalla’s greatest strength if he finally played this role instead of playing the educated citizen on television, the world politician on trips to Moscow and the Gernegroß in the back seat of a BMW 7 series company car.
His sponsors wanted him to do everything differently. When he joined the AfD in 2015, people from the Saxon party leadership noticed him. There was this painter and varnisher, a seasoned craftsman from the people, who always smiled sympathetically at party meetings and looked good, at least better than the other AfD people. They wanted to make something of this man for the 2017 federal election. He was exactly what the AfD wanted to be in the East, namely not a party of angry, neoliberal professors, but a movement of craftsmen and workers who do not like foreigners, but one national German welfare state. They held events with Chrupalla in Görlitz, and he was well received. He was also elected to the Bundestag. But no sooner had he got there than he fell out of the role intended for him.