The Rapid Rise of Annalena Baerbock to End in an Even More Rapid Fall?

It’s been quite a nosedive: just two months ago, Green Party candidate Annalena Baerbock was still hailed as the next German Chancellor. Now, most mainstream media report that her prospects for the election in late September are seriously jeopardized by the various plagiarism affairs which they prominently present. Although in most cases, the plagiarism charges involve copy-and-paste operations from the writings of green co-thinkers, they could become a serious matter: several leading German politicians, including a Defense Minster and a Family Minister, were forced in the recent past to resign over similar misdoings.

The leading “green” news daily, the tageszeitung (taz) ran a commentary on July 4 titled “It’s over, Baerbock”, calling for her to be replaced as candidate by party co-chairman Robert Habeck. Baerbock’s own ambitions are what brought her down, writes taz author Silke Mertins. If she refuses to cede the green candidacy to Habeck “as soon as possible”, the journalist proposes, the “influential party big shots” should make clear it to her: ‘It’s over, Annalena!’.”

That, however, in our view, may not be possible. The Green party would need to hold a new convention to nominate the new chancellor candidate, and then use the remaining few weeks to try and bolster their image. From 25% four weeks ago, their ratings have plunged to below 20% with no end in sight.

With their chancellorship ambitions buried, the Greens can still aim at receiving enough votes to become a partner of the Christian Democrats in the next government coalition, with Habeck nominated to a senior cabinet position. But for the moment, it is more likely that the CDU would form a coalition with the SPD and the liberals of the FDP, without the Greens.

What is missing until now, however, is a debate on the real issues, beyond the personal failings of the relatively young Annalena Baerbock, for example on the disastrous energy transition (out of nuclear power) or the “Green Deal”. One can only hope that the critics of the Green agenda and hysteriamongering, of whom there are many in Germany, will take the opportunity to speak out in public. The BüSo (Civil Rights Movement Solidarity) is the only party that has brought these themes into the election campaign.

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