Annalena Baerbock has been named the Green party’s first-ever chancellor candidate, emphasizing at a press conference on Monday the unanimity with which she and co-leader Robert Habeck had made the decision, and the clarity of their purpose, first formulated at a party conference three years ago: To become a new big tent party for Germany.
“Of course we didn’t know then that we’d be standing here today,” she said. “But what we knew was that we wanted to open our party up, that we wanted to make policies for a broad society: Inviting, and with clear objectives. And so today begins a new chapter for our party.”
“Here, today, I want to make an offer, for the whole of society, as an invitation to lead our diverse, strong, rich country into a good future,” she added, warming to the theme.
Baerbock has seen a precipitous rise to power.
The 40-year-old stepped into the limelight at a party conference early in 2018. Wearing a black leather jacket, the still little-known regional politician — a resident of the eastern state of Brandenburg — stepped to the fore and wowed the delegates who had just made her one of the party’s two co-leaders.
That was and is remarkable. After all, the environmentalists already had one shooting star: the relatively young and to many charismatic Robert Habeck was soon whispered about as “chancellor material.”