CSU Party Congress: "Sorry, Horst"

It does not work without pettiness. Even now, notwithstanding a reasonably successful election for the new CSU chairman and even though he is currently establishing himself as a symbolic image with Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Even now lets Markus Söder Do not hesitate to give his predecessor Horst Seehofer another on an open congress platform.

This time he will not repeat "two mistakes" from Seehofer, says Söder, addressing Kramp-Karrenbauer. He did not want to receive the CDU boss this time without flowers. And he did not want to talk for long now. Söder recalls a scene that has burned itself into the collective memory of the Union: how Seehofer in 2015 humiliated Angela Merkel before all the CSU delegates. How he taught her for minutes how bad her policy was.

The plenary laughs. Seehofer grins awry. "Sorry, Horst," Söder shouts.

Both have been in intimate dislike for years. Seehofer wanted to prevent Söder from becoming his successor. Söder did a lot to make it anyway. This is known to all. Who has forgotten: At the congress it is stressed again and again, not least by Seehofer and Söder himself. Often in exactly this tone, as anecdote, as a joke, in which, however, a tremendous spark of truth resonates.

Wheat beer instead of coffee

No question: The Christian Social Union is a fun party with a penchant for theatricality. The pricking and joking is part of the political culture here. The delegates, who already drink more wheat beer than coffee in the morning, really enjoy it. Hard-fought inner-party power struggles have a long tradition in Bavaria. One has become accustomed to a sometimes grumpy, unforgiving approach in the management committees. At the same time, however, the CSU also has the self-image of the quasi-eternal governing party. This forces us to pragmatism, to come together again and again. Since the often personally motivated disputes may not outgrow. It helps humor.

Still, all the gaudi can not hide the difficult time behind the CSU. The hard argument with the CDU about the right refugee policy has hurt her most of all. In the October state election, voters not only punished them, but also left them with a strategic dilemma. About the same number migrated to the AfD as to the Greens. Since then, the CSU has differed on which clientele has priority in recapturing.

In any case, it is important for Markus Söder to be as moderate and inclusive as possible at the moment. Marked tones or hardliner slogans you do not even hear from him at the moment. About half a year ago, Söder spoke of "asylum tourism" and the "end of multilateralism". Well, in Munich, he gives as well as the last one the Purified. He wants to draw the right lessons from 2018, he says during his application speech. Quarrel paralyzed, bored, annoyed. Politics must focus more on efficiency instead of effects.

Opening up new milieus

Therefore, he advertises, "constructive animated", for a fresh start with the CDU, He wanted to invite, not exclude. Under him, the CSU should be pro-European and develop new milieus. He also explicitly woos migrants and newcomers as a new target group. In general, the CSU wants to become more digital and feminine. The AfD attacks Söder harder than the Greens. Their "path to right-wing extremism" must be closely monitored. Clearly, the CSU will stand under him for security and conservatism. But generally, the issues of asylum or Islam play virtually no role this time.

It is not a bad speech. She is self-critical, entertaining, forward, humble. A comprehensive problem awareness can not deny Söder. But is she credible? Was not Söder until recently even the biggest thurbler and professional profiler?

Not all CSU delegates take away Söder's change of heart. Some people trust him to see things differently in a few months. In the party he has powerful opponents. Not only among the peers, of whom the former Minister of Defense Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is the most prominent. Even his predecessor Erwin Huber does not talk very friendly about him. Not to mention Seehofer. Added to this is Söder's difficult situation among the population. For the state election last year, he was considered the most unpopular Prime Minister of Germany.

Accordingly, Söder's election on this Saturday is hardly euphoric. The result with which he is chosen: 87.4 percent. That's not terrific, but not embarrassing. He benefits from the fact that many in the CSU sat the phase of public quarrels. And a freshly damaged chairman just does not seem so fitting.

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