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 on stage for the presidency 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).
So last year, the GO orientated itself a bit on the casting tour of the initially eight SPD applicant duos. The fatigue that arose after the tour of the candidates through the republic is no longer present this time. One evening wouldn’t be enough for that.
But that’s not to say the Junge Union has elaborated any controversy between Laschet, Merz and Röttgen. Rather, it was a bizarre mix between the show elements of the US election campaign and Social Democratic inertia.
For 100 minutes, the party boy gave the three West German candidates the keyword. And no troublemakers, as would have been theirs. When the topic of sustainability came up, the curiosity revolved around financial issues and not the environment. Movements such as Fridays for Future did not occur at all.
But time and again: digitization, digitization, digitization. The issue of gender equality was also not raised: although the questioners were quoted internally, it was only by chance. Why does a woman not reach (anymore) to the CDU top office? The Junge Union doesn’t seem to care. And the risks of involving Merkel in a Bundestag election campaign without a candidate for Chancellor were not discussed.
Disastrous competition? Are you kidding me, are you serious when you say that?
A few weeks ago, Kramp-Karrenbauer feared a “disastrous match” for her successor. So far there is no evidence that this will happen. Laschet, Merz and Röttgen can tick very differently when it comes to their relationship with Angela Merkel. But they don’t attack each other hard. Instead, they compete in a friendly manner.
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Perhaps a taste of what Union party leader Ralph Brinkhaus says about the federal party conference in Stuttgart, which is still scheduled for December despite the corona crisis: “Swing enthusiastically through the room – it won’t work.”
And the winner will be? Of course, that cannot be said after the “pitch” of the GO. Röttgen seemed rhetorically superior, but he remains the outsider. Laschet can score with government experience – and stands for the old west. Merz, meanwhile, continues to qualify unlike Merkel. Overall, the CDU has always been further and more modern.