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Armin Laschet is no Angela Merkel. He may still win the German chancellorship

The new leader of the Christian Democratic Union has a long way to go yet. But it is worth asking what his programme in government might look like

By Paul Lever  

Laschet is not an ideal partner for Joe Biden—or Boris Johnson. Photo: Michael Kappeler/DPA/PA Images

In 2000, Germany’s CDU party elected Angela Merkel as its leader. It was a surprising choice. Merkel differed from her predecessors in almost every respect: a woman, an Ossi (from East Germany), a scientist, Lutheran, divorced, childless and someone who had never been a minister president of one of Germany’s 16 states. To the amazement of most commentators, and to the dismay of her political rivals, she remained in office as party chairman for 18 years and has served for 15 years as Chancellor.

When she stepped down from the party leadership in 2018 her successor was also…

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