When Armin Laschet accepted the invitation, probably months ago, at the CSU reception for the 80th anniversary of Edmund Stoiber to speak, he probably imagined he would come as chancellor. Then he could have bathed in the applause of the CSU and his opponent Markus Söder would have had to clap knowingly. They also applauded the CSU, but it was applause bordering on politeness that said nothing about the true mood.
As always when the situation is precarious, this is reflected in the conversations leading up to the event. At very leading and somewhat less leading CSU people stand together and wait for the guests, in this case for the jubilee Stoiber, who comes on time for once. And Laschet, who arrives at the last minute.
Another setback for the CDU chairman
Again it is a day with another setback for Armin Laschet. News is circulating that Friedrich Merz now wants to try again to become CDU boss, provided that all members vote for it. the image– That’s what the newspaper reported. Shouldn’t someone even tell Laschet it’s over? “Guess how many have already told him that,” says one of the most prominent CSU people.
Should be in the morning Markus Soder one of those insidious sentences slipped again in the CSU presidency meeting. The upcoming negotiations are still being conducted with Armin Laschet, Söder said there, and the more attentive listeners noticed that immediately. Shortly before the start of the event, there is another CDU guest who could perhaps be described as medium-sized with an upward perspective.
You put your heads together. “You have to help,” the CDU man says. Of course, this doesn’t mean he should help Laschet forge a Jamaica coalition. But get rid of him. The CSU does not want to do that under any circumstances, the CDU must do that itself is the unanimous opinion of all CSU’ers who are asked about it. At the CSU, “there should be no blood spatter on this issue,” says one.
When Laschet finally arrives, he once again tastes the imperturbability that has long driven his party friends to despair. Whether he still believes in Jamaica was echoed in various variants of the crowd of photographers. “We’re celebrating Edmund Stoiber,” Laschet replied stoically. And what about Merz’s ambitions? “We have a CDU boss,” he says.
In the hall, Laschet and Söder are both in the front row, but separated at most by the pandemic-related airy chairs and the Stoiber couple. Söder, once secretary-general under Stoiber, delivered an extensive eulogy, laced with anecdotes. But at Söder you always have to listen carefully. For example, when he blames Wolfgang Schäuble for Stoiber’s election defeat in 2002 for swearing the Union to say yes to the war in Iraq. “You see that some people make mistakes again and again,” says Söder. Some listeners take a deep breath.
Laschet then praises Stoiber’s “human greatness” for how he coped with the defeat in 2002, saying that this is also his “standard in this day and age”. You can’t see at this point if Söder’s face is shaking. He sits in the front and stands with his back to the hall.