So Angela Merkel is out as leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). In comes Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Merkel’s close ally who won the party’s support with a very narrow victory over more conservative Friedrich Merz.
The goal , as always in Europe, was to maintain the status quo politically. Change needed to change nothing. Brexit negotiations are all about handing Britons a Brexit that changes as little as possible, for example.
French political elites created Emmanuel Macron out of whole cloth to marginalize Francois Melanchon, a more independent French leftist. The goal was continuity of agenda with Macron the globalist puppet. But Macron is in serious trouble politically as he revealed himself to be as bad as the departed Francois Hollande.
So far this gambit seems to have worked for Merkel and the CDU as snap polls have the CDU/CSU Union up three points and taking those points from the Greens, who have surged as the face of the dissatisfied Left in Germany.
This surge by both the Greens and Alternative for Germany (AfD) is what prompted this change in the CDU, the major parties are now in a fight for survival as German voters are deeply unhappy with their leadership.
But, this change may also quell some of that discontent (at least for now). With Merkel exiting the stage on one level, it has blunted the growth of AfD who have positioned themselves as the Anti-Merkel party.
That’s not a path to long-term success, as I’ve explained in the past. AfD needs to rebrand itself beyond the anti-Merkel party because, once Merkel’s gone, the reason for their existence goes with her.
And it is clear that AfD is struggling with this mightily. The polls have them topped out at 17-18% for a while and now backing off to 13-14%. I never bought the Greens’ move to 15%, it always looked like a protest vote against the Social Democrats (SPD).
Merkel keeps winning these small battles as she disengages herself from the stage in Berlin, outfoxing her competition. But, with a sovereign debt crisis on the horizon will she be able to weather it or will it finally be too much for her?