THE BLOG

What Merkel's Victory Means for Hillary 2016

It was expected that Angela Merkel would win the German election, but not by that kind of landslide. The final tally has not been made, but since Germany has paper ballots, which can easily and fast be counted, we will know tomorrow morning.

The latest count is this: Merkel's CDU, the Christian Democrats, got 41.5 percent of the vote, the opposing Social Democrats have 25.7 percent, the post-communist Left Party achieved 8.6 percent, and the Green Party got 8.4 percent. Neither the Pirate's Party, a movement devoted to internet freedom, nor the newly founded AfD, a right-wing populist party made it, with the Alternative for Deutschland just so missing the 5 percent to get into the parliament. However, since they came out of nowhere, that is still a success.

The FDP did also not make it. This is remarkable, since the Free Democrats -- who have more resemblance to libertarians than to liberals -- have been in a coalition with Merkel's CDU until now. Most likely, Merkel will now get together with the SPD.

Merkel is conservative, but in Germany (and in Europe, for that matter), this means something completely different than in the USA. A Christian Democrat in Germany is about on par with a Democrat in the USA, and left of a blue-dog Democrat. And there is really no such thing as a Republican in Germany. They hoover between the Italian neofascists and Berlusconi's Forza Italia, while the Tea Party resembles the Front National in France.

The CDU does not question ubiquitous health care, public schools, or taxes, it has abolished the draft, and done away with nuclear power plants. And while some of the older members are uncomfortable with gay marriage, it is not that kind of religious hot-button issue than in the U.S. In fact, Merkel is good friends with Hillary Clinton.

Is she really? Merkel is a rather guarded, careful person, so she would not go out on a limb, but she did, in fact, wish openly that Hillary would get the nomination for 2010 (instead of Obama). It's not a secret that she is no big fan of either Bush or Obama. What does that mean for the 2016 elections in America? Merkel is on top of her game, and the Republicans would have a hard time criticizing her for helping Hillary. So, this will most surely help Hillary. However, will Merkel openly come out? We don't know. But if she does, well, I said it first!

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