Correspondent in Berlin
To succeed Merkel, after four legislatures, was the golden dream of any German politician. Yes Olaf Scholz lo It has achieved, against all odds if we stick to what the polls advanced during the summer, it has been five keys to its image and its campaign strategy with which it has conquered voters who for 16 years voted for Merkel:
“Respect” has been the central concept of his campaign narrative. In televised debates, this concept failed to occupy many broadcast minutes, but at his rallies Scholz could dwell on this idea for hours: as long as the SPD succeeds, those who accessed secondary educational routes will be treated with respect. , because the SPD is determined to guarantee their social and salary recognition. Here he took as an example health workers and other professions that were often undervalued but which proved their high social value during the pandemic. Scholz, always serious and showing no feelings, always objective, always sober, he was moved and declared “touched” by the stories of anonymous workers so essential to all and to whom he has promised “respect” and a place at the forefront of his politics.
Scholz already ran indirectly for the 2017 candidacy. In mid-2016, he published his book “Land of Hope”, with reflections that today form the core of his candidacy worse than the SPD leadership gratefully declined. There was no support whatsoever. Since then, a couple of Social Democratic leaders have fallen and the current one pulled him just because they thought they would lose the elections. The key to his success was perseverance. In 2019 the presidency of the SPD, with which Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans were made, failed with his candidacy, but he was not discouraged and quietly continued to patiently cultivate his old plan to reach the Chancellery. Frank Stauss, Gerhard Schröder’s former campaign strategist, believes that Scholz’s most important personal advantage is that he “loves his job with every fiber of his body.”
The time factor has played in their favor. The fact that the SPD presented its candidate at an early stage was instrumental in avoiding campaign errors. Lists, programs, and strategies could be coordinated in an orderly fashion, everyone involved had time to team up and build a working climate of trust, and they were able to design a focused electoral campaign that exactly matched the candidate’s profile.
Apart from an unfortunate video, which was quickly locked up in the chamber of secrets of House Willy Brandt, with acid attacks on the CDU by the secretary general of the SPD, Lars Klingbeil, the APD has opted for a campaign of concord and avoiding the match. The posters had to attract attention and be noticed; a small address very active in social networks and, above all, a strict personalization. The message of the SPD election campaign has been summed up in one word: Scholz. And at no time has the candidate criticized any other party, he has limited himself to defending a government program that he has presented as an improvement and correction of the last legislature.
He had the right opponents
The moment the SPD was finally able to leave its 15% dungeon in the polls coincided exactly with the moment when the second rival, Laschet, made his worst campaign mistake. He appeared laughing and joking in the background of some images in which el presidente federal Frank-Walter SteinmeierHe offered his condolences to the victims of the terrible floods in July in the west of the country. Scholz has benefited from Laschet’s mixture of presumption and overzealousness, as well as the flight of votes from The Greens as plagiarism was discovered in the book published by his candidate, Annalena Baerbock, and that he had “forgotten” to declare certain entries to the register of deputies of the Bundestag.