It’s an election campaign. You don’t necessarily notice this in the polarizing content and slogans that the German citizen hurries past in the autumn light, but rather in the television, which at home mixes the ingredients Baerbock, Scholz and Laschet with ever new recipes: Illner, Will, Lanz, Duell, Triell, plain text, speed dating – so now a student show. In the Sat1 program “Kannste-Kanzleramt”, the chancellor candidates visited classes for one hour each to ask questions from 8 to 13 year olds. After weeks of puffing up on swivel chairs, the format works like one of those extremely sour Centershock chewing gum after a long corn waffle diet. Sure, the taste (including the political gain in knowledge) evaporated quickly, but sweet and sour memories of good questions and cramped vocal interludes remain.
Of course, old stage wisdom: You always lose to animals and children. Annalena Baerbock knows that and first of all sprinkles a trace of sugar (“You are a great class”) when she casually meets the droning choir in a white shirt (“Gu-ten Mo-rgen, Frau Baer-bock”). In front of the map of the world there is someone “who is so ´ne cool”, a woman “who has more than just make-up make-up” in her head, as characterizes a radiant schoolgirl. The Sat1 voice in the introductory film also knows euphorically: In addition to the family, she “rocks politics”.
However much the selection of the students on Jugend-forscht-Debattierclub-Kinderschokolade cover models was – Sat1 was still unable to cast innocence out of the young people. Nothing can be more disarming than the honest reaction of children. This was also the undoing of the incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel when, during a citizens’ dialogue, a Lebanese girl burst into tears because her family was about to be deported.
“What are you most afraid of?” Asks one student. As to almost all questions, Baerbock answers quickly and spontaneously. Most of all, she is afraid that something will happen to her children. The Chancellor candidate moves like a fish in water between the desk and the marker pen. She plays her dream role, the Green politician in front of the blackboard, who is allowed to sketch her idea of climate neutrality in front of curious googly eyes. No matter how much toenail roll potential the scenario of clever-child-meets-submissive-politician has, even when Baerbock drums on her knees at the end of the lesson and sings “We will rock you” with the children, that looks okay. You buy from her the fun she seems to be having.
Laschet complains about Marie’s craquelure
In contrast to Armin Laschet, who walks to the desk after the greeting with a strict “Sooo”, as if he were about to open the class register and mistreat sloppy Lukas with the vocabulary query. The students actually moderate the show. First the question and answer session. Laschet calls the students with narrowed eyes with the help of the name tags (“What does it say?”) And complains about the craquelure of Marie, who wants to know whether the conservative carnival fan could imagine becoming a vegetarian (of course not) .
Lara asks what he laughed about in the flood area during the interview with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “Oh, that was really stupid,” adds Laschet anachronistically to front pages and Twitter cloudbursts, nothing that should be “deepened”. The girl with the two pigtails presses her lips together politely at this non-response, smiles, “Ok, thank you”. Can he imagine a coalition with the SPD? “I don’t really want them,” and it sounds as if someone asked him if he is actually giving Yasmin from 5b a cheeky pussy, but is secretly happy that he doesn’t have to do it in the end.
Olaf Scholz completes the question and answer session as tense as at a press conference, nods silently to the students, and sometimes a “Yes, over there” comes from his lips. What is he most afraid of? – “Hm?” Replies Scholz, confused. – “What you are most afraid of”, Marie asks a bit confused. “I am concerned,” he emphasizes, in order to avoid any misunderstandings, that the future candidate for Chancellor might be _afraid of something in this life “that the world will not be peaceful”.
And because Scholz is Scholz and there is no question to which an evasive answer cannot be found, he explains to Greta, who shortly before demonstrated her knowledge of Afghanistan and wants to know whether the quick withdrawal of the German troops was the right thing to do what the “World Trade Center” is.
Towards the end, however, even Scholz thaws in the warm eyes of the children, sits down in front of the students, takes his hands out of his trouser pocket and says that he has been given Smurfs since Markus Söder commented on the “smurfy” facial expressions of the SPD candidate. He could laugh at such comments. Then he holds up his running shoes that he brought with him: He didn’t start exercising until he was 40. And concludes with the moral: “It is still possible to do something new.”
A piece of wisdom that can easily be transferred to election campaign programs.