German President on the Ropes

John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

German President on the Ropes

The enemies of Germany’s politically unpopular president are zeroing in for the knockout.

A widely unpopular choice at the time, Germany’s President Christian Wulff was appointed as the nation’s president in June 2010 following the resignation of Horst Köhler from that post.

Köhler had resigned under pressure due to publicly declaring Germany’s need for military deployment “to protect our interests such as ensuring free-trade routes or preventing regional instabilities which are also certain to negatively impact our ability to safeguard trade, jobs and income” (Deutschlandradio, May 22, 2010).

Having been a longtime political rival to Angela Merkel for the chancellorship, pundits saw the appointment of Wulff to the non-political ceremonial post of the nation’s president as a means of effectively neutralizing Wulff as a danger to her leadership. Now it seems that Wulff’s tenure as president could be brief.

A strong media campaign for Wulff to resign from the presidency has mounted in the wake of a scandal involving a real-estate purchase in which the president was involved prior to his appointment. This has recently been exacerbated by his subsequent treatment of certain members of the German press.

Commenting on an item in Tuesday’s edition of the German daily Handelsblatt,Presseurop reports, “The net is tightening on Germany’s federal president. Propelled into office against the wishes of public opinion by Angela Merkel in 2010, the very discreet Christian Wulff may be about to step down at short notice” (January 3).

The German president’s main task is to act as fulcrum for the nation’s moral compass. Publicizing what the media regard as a questionable financial transaction plays negatively against Wulff’s need to be seen as a blameless guardian of the nation’s moral conscience.

Pressure has now mounted significantly on Wulff to resign, for, as Handelsblatt reports, “members of the ruling majority have now joined their opposition colleagues in calling for his resignation” (ibid).

It’s obvious that the knives are out to dispatch Christian Wulff—Merkel’s personal choice as Köhler’s replacement—and if he goes it will be yet another blow to the chancellor’s reputation coming hard on the heels of disastrous results for her party, the Christian Democrats, in the 2011 state elections. In fact, how Merkel has survived as chancellor to this point, and how her divided coalition has survived, is anyone’s guess. Surely it can only be that the German elites who pull the strings of government have not yet positioned themselves to reveal their true hand.

While Merkel continues to play the patsy for the advancement of the imperial aims of these elites, it may be that they will continue to bide their time till their chosen political leader is positioned to readily take over the leadership of the German nation. To this end we shall be closely watching the Christian Social Union’s Ash Wednesday conference in February for any evidence of a certain Bavarian from Kulmbach—presently resident in Connecticut—being invited back to the political arena.

In the meantime, who could fill the president’s shoes if Wulff succumbs to the pressure and tosses in the towel?

We will be watching one man in particular—ex-Bavarian Premier Edmund Stoiber.

Gaffe prone though Stoiber is reputed by the media to be, his past performance in running Bavaria as the most economically successful state in the German republic is a matter of record. The fact of his having 1,000 people participating at his birthday bash in September last year—including the chancellor and many other political leaders—and receiving a personal congratulatory phone call from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, speaks to a large network of influence and respect garnered throughout his political career.

At a time when Germany has found its national confidence anew, it is in need of a moral guide to stabilize its society and give fresh vision to the nation.

With a Bavarian pope on the papal throne, the religiously Catholic Stoiber—hailing from the pope’s own home state—may well prove an able candidate as Wulff’s replacement in the role of guardian of the German moral conscience.