Farewell to the electoral campaign |

In addition to the excitement, the weekend also had the symbolic image of these days to offer: the Chancellor shook hands with the Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate Malu Dreyer during her visit to the village of Schuld, who has been affected by catastrophic flooding. For Angela Merkel, it was probably just an instinctive gesture. But different media …

In addition to the excitement, the weekend also had the symbolic image of these days to offer: the Chancellor shook hands with the Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate Malu Dreyer during her visit to the village of Schuld, who has been affected by catastrophic flooding. For Angela Merkel, it was probably just an instinctive gesture. But various media picked up on this scene and some even saw it as a counter-image to Laschet’s inappropriate laughter.

The image of Merkel and Dreyer is thus part of an electoral campaign which focuses almost exclusively on the candidates for chancellor, their character traits and their missteps. It’s about people, not content.

But we could also say that it is in fact Angela Merkel. It is clear that his chancellery will end soon. But it is also clear that Angela Merkel has become a kind of reference for a significant number of Germans in 16 years of her mandate. Not necessarily in the political sense, but certainly in terms of the habit of senior politicians. These people got used to the fact that Germany is represented by a woman who does not take herself seriously, but takes her job. For the past 16 years, the country has bid farewell to men who in the past would have been reverently called doers or shooters. The current election campaign is thus becoming a bit of a process of cutting the cord of the familiar Chancellor. Many people are also concerned about which of the chancellor candidates are just as straightforward and factual as Angela Merkel. So far they have been weighed and obviously deemed too light.

But there is also a danger behind this process. The Chancellor is neither the first representative nor the highest moral authority. Anyone who has gotten used to Merkel’s supporting roles can only be disappointed with her successor. This office mainly concerns political decisions, even controversial ones. And when the Federal Chancellor is asked to act like a rock or a consolation, he has to take on that role in his own way – and find his own gestures as visually powerful as the hand Angela Merkel extended to Malu Dreyer.

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