Debate Revives Merkel Rival as Credible Challenger

Source: NY Times:

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Social Democratic challenger, Peer Steinbrück, returned to the campaign trail on Monday, with neither triumphant after their sole television debate, a mostly decorous 90-minute exchange that restored Mr. Steinbrück as a credible candidate but yielded a rhetorical draw.Perhaps reflecting the flickering interest stirred by the largely predictable positions taken by both leaders, commentary focused on what the Berlin tabloid B.Z. called “the two winners in the TV duel: Raab and Merkel’s necklace.”

The reference was first to Stefan Raab, a television entertainer whose inclusion in the normally serious lineup of four moderators at the debate on Sunday night was much remarked and delivered the liveliest exchange of the evening. Mr. Raab pushed Mr. Steinbrück hard for guidance for those Germans — and polls suggest their number is considerable — who want to see a “grand coalition” of the Social Democrats with Ms. Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats after the Sept. 22 elections.


Categories: Europe, Germany

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