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Sep 09 2008

When the going gets tough…

Published by at 12:15 pm under Europe,Opinion

First published on my old blog on 1/8/2005. 

In the past weeks I’ve been unashamedly pro-CDU and anti-SPD. And pro-Merkel. But, I’ve never been anti-Schröder. Although I really should be – to be consistent.

The boss should not be able to walk away scotfree from the mistakes/underperformance of his appointees (Clement and others). In the last instance, he is responsible for all. The buck stops with him.

But still I find it hard to be anti-Schröder. Why? Because I’ve always kind of hero-worshipped people who perform at their best when the chips are down. 

Whether it’s Pete Sampras who fires an ace when he needs to at 5 all in the fifth set, the full-back who saves a certain try with a bone-crunching tackle on a storming lock forward, the managing director who handles difficult questions at a press conference, or the politician who thinks on his feet with the eyes of the nation on him. 

In short: Everyone who gets going when the going gets tough. 

And, whenever I sense “it happening” (the tough getting going), it gives me goose bumps. The last time this happened was a few hours ago, during the Schröder/Christiansen TV interview – at the end of which Schröder smiled like a cat who had just caught a mouse and the panel of experts (who came to slaughter him) sat there flabbergasted, wondering what had hit them. 

Schröder’s excellent performance will most certainly help the SPD in the next voters’ poll. But, my guess is, his performance will also help the CDU. How? By breaking the speed of the new “Left Party”. 

Meiner Meinung nach, the only loser tonight was the new “Left Party”. And therefore, Schröder did Germany a great favour tonight. 

It always has been amazing to see how confident Schröder can be in situations in which he really, really should NOT be confident. To see him coming out with guns blazing, when he should be re-treating. Full-on goose bumps material. 

Knock-out punches to the chin are simply shrugged off. Time and time again. No glass chin here. 

And I think many German viewers noticed this tonight and were impressed by it. 

Nevertheless, I can’t see the SPD/Greens winning the election, simply because I can’t see the voters’ memories being so short. 

(Remember: As recently as May this year the public and business world were absolutely “gatvol” with Schröder and the SPD and pollsters could hardly find a German voter willing to support the SPD.) 

Or, do I over-estimate the German voter?

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