Thursday, August 11, 2005

NYT Tries To Prop Up Gerhard Schroder

The NYT tries to prop up Gerhard Schroder in an article today:


The NYT says a sure thing has turned into a race:

And, of course, that means that the presumed sure winner, the leader of the Christian Democratic Union, Angela Merkel, has been faltering. The Sept. 18 national election, seen until a couple of weeks ago as a cakewalk to power for Mrs. Merkel, is, Der Spiegel proclaimed this week, "suddenly wide open again."

Well, maybe not wide open exactly. The poll figures still indicate that Mr. Schröder's Social Democratic Party is something in the neighborhood of 13 or 14 points behind the Christian Democrats, and that, as Richard Hilmer, managing director of the polling firm Infratest dimap, said, "is really quite a difference." Previous polls have shown a wider gap.

So what is it, wide open or not exactly? A 13-14 point lead is not a close race. Then the Times sets the table for Merkel's election to be a non-mandate:

And so, for months the Germans have been expressing their discontent with Mr. Schröder and the governing coalition. And now that Mr. Schröder has become a sure loser, they appear to be experiencing a kind of anticipatory nostalgia for him, along with an anticipatory disillusionment with his presumed successor, whom they will elect even though they like her less, according to polls. It raises the possibility that public opinion will refuse to coalesce behind any government or any program, whether pushed by a victorious Christian Democratic-led coalition, or, if the fragmented electorate so decrees, a coalition with Social Democrats.

Chronic public dissatisfaction has plagued Mr. Schröder for much of his second term, so political analysts agree that under whatever circumstances Mrs. Merkel becomes chancellor, she will need a clear mandate to rejuvenate Germany's economic health. But the question is: Is Germany prepared to give her one?

If Merkel beats a sitting Chancellor by 5+ points its a mandate, even if the NYT hates to see one of their anti-America, anti-War On Terror partners fall by the side................................