The answer to all questions is: Olaf Scholz. At least that is the case with the SPD at the moment. “Olaf Scholz is the driving force behind this election campaign,” SPD secretary general Lars Klingbeil said on Wednesday when his party’s campaign was presented. A Scholz photographed in black and white against a red background looks down from the posters, the letters…
The answer to all questions is: Olaf Scholz. At least that is the case with the SPD at the moment. “Olaf Scholz is the driving force behind this election campaign,” SPD secretary general Lars Klingbeil said on Wednesday when his party’s campaign was presented. A Scholz photographed in black and white against a red background looks down from the posters, the letters SPD in the campaign now stand for “Scholz Packt Das an”. The candidate for chancellor, vice-chancellor and finance minister is the asset of the SPD in this election campaign. But is that enough to lead the next government?
The personal research results for Scholz are good across the board; many citizens trust him more than his competitors Armin Laschet and Annalena Baerbock. The Union candidate and North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Laschet acted as a political stumbling block after the flooding in his state as people wanted a disaster-proof state father. This is probably one of the reasons why the CDU announced on Wednesday that Laschet is canceling scheduled election campaign dates in Hesse and Baden-Württemberg in the coming days in order to devote its full attention to dealing with the flood disaster.
Green candidate Baerbock, on the other hand, is currently trying to get her campaign going again after a series of rookie mistakes. The party leader tries to do this in particular by attacking Laschet and the Union in the area of climate policy. “While two of them are dismantling, the third stands out,” says Klingbeil jubilantly over the stumbling opponents.
In fact, Scholz succeeded in acting as crisis manager after the flood disaster. He was present in the flood areas, as finance minister he quickly sent a package of aid to those affected. In the absence of Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Vice-Chancellor also chaired the federal cabinet meeting on Wednesday at which ministers decided to protect companies in the flood plains from bankruptcy. SPD election campaign manager Klingbeil is sure: “The focus is increasingly on the question of who of the three can actually do it?” Klingbeil himself provides the answer – and from his point of view that is, of course, Olaf Scholz.
Scholz has been the party’s candidate for chancellor for almost a year. For a long time he seemed lost in this role, because the competition could not tie (Union) or wanted (Greens) as long as to who they would place in the battle for Merkel’s successor. Now the political debate is gaining momentum and the election campaign seems to be doing Scholz well. The 63-year-old has become slimmer, especially in the face. However, this is not a sign of stress, it is said from his environment. Scholz is keeping fit for the election campaign with a focused sports program.
But weak competitors alone are useless to Scholz and his party unless the SPD gains popularity soon. In investigations, the Union and the Greens are leading the way. So far, the SPD has only won at a snail’s pace, but there are less than eight weeks until the federal election.