Annalena Baerbock renounces candidacy for chancellor: shock in DC

Annalena Baerbock renounces candidacy for chancellor: shock in DC
Annalena Baerbock renounces candidacy for chancellor: shock in DC

On the sidelines of the NATO summit, thousands of kilometers from home, Annalena Baerbock suddenly withdraws from the Green Party’s race for chancellor candidate. What is the point of this maneuver?

Wednesday afternoon, somewhere in the southern part of the complex convention center in Washington: In a small conference room, Annalena Baerbock meets Antony Blinken, the German Foreign Minister and her US colleague.

Flags hang in the conference room. Confidants sit at the table. You are allowed to watch the two of them greet each other for two minutes before they withdraw for a conversation. Baerbock thanks her “colleague and friend” for the “American leadership” in recent years and says: “I look forward to our shared future.” Then the doors close. Operation World Peace is calling.

It was only two hours ago that Annalena Baerbock gave this actually not very exciting NATO summit a remarkable turn, at least if you put on the German glasses.

Here in DC, of ​​all places, where the issue is supposed to be how to save Ukraine and bring Vladimir Putin to his knees, Baerbock says something about her personal career plans on US television around midday. She is not aiming to run for chancellor again, she says. Diplomacy is needed in these times, and the two tasks cannot be combined. This is a curious view because, according to this logic, the chancellor would be too busy to campaign.

Annalena Baerbock and her unusual maneuver

Otherwise, Baerbock’s maneuver in DC is rather unusual, to say the least. The style is strange, and the timing even more so. When it comes to important personnel issues, there is an unwritten rule in parties that members are the first to be informed, whether it is in the larger context of a party event or in a smaller one in their own district association. Baerbock, who is often described as the darling of the grassroots, is taking a different path, joining legendary reporter Christiane Amanpour on CNN to end her dreams of becoming chancellor. As if the world had been waiting to see how she sees her future. Or as if she wanted to show Joe Biden how to do it with renunciation.

Is that cool? Self-PR that’s way over the top? Or a symbol of how much the Greens have lost touch with reality?

In any case, the news is spreading quickly through the congress center, the news agencies and the German media because hardly anyone was expecting it at this point in time. The K question has not really interested anyone in the Greens recently.

Robert Habeck recently seemed to have a certain advantage when it came to being the top candidate because Baerbock had already had it once. But because the party is currently at a level in polls where the chancellorship is actually out of the question, the Greens tried to avoid the issue, to postpone it. Now the issue is suddenly back, and Habeck should now be able to take up the candidacy. But after this Wednesday, one can have doubts about how organized the Greens really are.

Did she announce her move in advance – or not?

Baerbock announced her move internally, the Greens now assure us. And by the way, it is also a smart move, because the party might now be spared a painful trial over the number one. However, even the Vice Chancellor seemed rather taken aback when he was asked about Baerbock’s comments shortly after the interview on the sidelines of his summer trip. She is a very good foreign minister, said Habeck, before immediately adding a little dig: “The fact that she is making statements in Berlin, er, the USA, shows how deeply she is anchored in foreign policy and how far she is going.” He could also have said: she is just very far away from everything right now.

What happens next with regard to the candidacy for chancellor will be decided by the committees, said Habeck. But this raises the question of why everything is not clear right now, if Baerbock’s maneuver was supposedly known beforehand?

Olaf Scholz, who traveled to Washington with Baerbock, was probably also surprised by her decision. Now, for him, the question of how the Greens will decide on their top candidacy is not one of the highest priorities, but he is not entirely happy that the news made the rounds during a summit that was supposed to be less about Baerbock than about him, his course in the Ukraine war, his friendship with Joe Biden. About German leadership in times of global political turmoil – that was the story his people would have liked to tell. And now, all of a sudden, it’s all about the Green minister and her future.

The NATO summit is rather unspectacular – and that’s a good thing

But this anniversary summit, at which NATO is celebrating its 75th anniversary, is a little strange anyway. Perhaps you just have to go to the back of the congress center to experience how relaxed everything is at this summit.

Is the media going crazy in the case of Joe Biden?


It is Wednesday afternoon, the powerful are meeting for their first working session and the rules dictate that every boss of a NATO country is allowed to say a few sentences into the cameras beforehand. But many don’t want to. They disappear. They drink coffee with colleagues. They don’t even show up in front of the microphones.

Olaf Scholz, for example, slowly shuffles down a red staircase with a confidant and then quickly turns into an adjoining room. Emmanuel Macron leisurely goes up the escalator, even though the working session is actually taking place downstairs. Joe Biden is standing somewhere else entirely to personally greet each of his NATO colleagues. A smile, a photo for the family album, and then the working session can begin, even though the joint paper has actually been in place for a long time. The enemy is in Moscow, the friend in Kiev, that is the core of the declaration.

The message is clear, the schedule is being kept, not even Biden falls over. Beyond Baerbock’s little shock, this summit is rather unspectacular.

Which might be good news in these times.

Source: Stern

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