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I say Joschka Fischer.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:06:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
was my first thought too, but for some reason he doesn't seem to be in the running.

Th stern, for example has a list:

http://www.stern.de/politik/deutschland/kandidaten-fuer-die-wulff-nachfolge-wer-soll-bundespraesiden t-werden-1788056.html

1. Gauck
2.Lammert

  1. Schäuble
  2. von der Leyen
  3. Klaus Töpfer

and so on. Of course that is just guessing too.
by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:10:33 AM EST
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Just personally, Schäuble's my best guess; Lammert never occurred to me, but he's plausible too.

OTOH, Merkel's probably still pissed off over the Gauck nomination last time, von der Leyen still has a political future and everyone's forgotten who Klaus Töpfer was.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:33:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Disagree about Töpfer. The idea is to have someone who is uncontroversial because they are not deep in party politics. Töpfer could probably manage that.
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:38:22 AM EST
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Actually I think Töpfer is quite plausible and he would have done it last time, if Merkel had agreed. He is the oldest of the candidates under discussion, though.
by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:40:51 AM EST
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Better to have your appointee die in office than to have to resign due to scandal. Merkel could have a parade of octogenarians putting in final acts, if she could find ones that wouldn't embarrass.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 09:56:34 PM EST
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What about de Maizière? He was in the game a month ago.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 11:46:06 AM EST
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Still in the game.

As things develop, we will have results on sunday or so.

by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 11:52:53 AM EST
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The SPD wouldn't like that. It would be a signal saying the next coalition is black/green...
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:10:36 AM EST
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then it's an exceedingly poor way to select a head of state.

But we already knew that...

Schaüble for fuck's sake?? Or is this another Schaüble I don't know about?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:13:10 AM EST
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No, that Schäuble, he was already serious in the running once. On the other hand Merkel needs him as minister.

 "If it's all about party politics
 then it's an exceedingly poor way to select a head of state."

Yes. Could never happen in other countries.

by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:17:07 AM EST
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In most countries (I'm open to counter-examples) a president is expected to be above the fray of party politics. If picking a sitting minister is a serious possibility, then it's clearly not a consideration in Germany.

And I have no idea why the SPD or Grünen would contribute to electing a CDU partisan.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:38:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]

In most countries (I'm open to counter-examples) a president is expected to be above the fray of party politics. If picking a sitting minister is a serious possibility, then it's clearly not a consideration in Germany

We would expect them to switch to presidential mode the moment they are elected. If they don't manage that, we could try to force them to resign. By the way, all our presidents with only one exception were catastrophes.

And I have no idea why the SPD or Grünen would contribute to electing a CDU partisan

Because they can't dream of a majority without Die Linke. And a coalition with Die Linke is impossible because all members of that party are dirty and stink, and are stalinists, and eat babies for breakfast. So, Greens OR SPD can form a coalition with the CDU but not with each other.

by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:46:28 AM EST
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By the way, all our presidents with only one exception were catastrophes.

That would be Heinemann?

by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:50:06 AM EST
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Sure.
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 11:06:52 AM EST
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What about Richard von Weizsäcker?

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 11:33:51 AM EST
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Weizsäcker is a typical representative of his generation that never knew anything, for instance what his regiment did in Russia. He didn't know. Later he didn't know that the US made Agent Orange from the chemicals he sold them.  
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 12:21:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like his father, Nazi, Reich Foreign Secretary before becoming ambassador to the Vatican, who said at his trial he didn't know Jews were being killed at Auschwitz. Richard von W, then a law student, was assistant counsel to his father at that trial.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 01:00:49 PM EST
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Well, I don't blame anyone for what their parents did, and I don't blame defence counsels for doing their job.
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 01:24:14 PM EST
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Except that Richard von W was defending his own father and associating with him in the supposed ignorance of what happened to Jews deported to the East.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 01:29:38 PM EST
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He was a law student and defending his own father. Nothing wrong with that. He associated with his father in regard to the father's guilt. Well, it was his father. This did not make the son guilty (though probably naïve). I blame Richard v.W. for his intentional amnesia concerning his own role in the holocaust and the cruelties against Russians.
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 01:54:16 PM EST
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Well, I see it as also associated with his father's amnesia. Not that it changes the case.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 01:57:25 PM EST
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Don't you see a difference between not wishing to believe in the guilt of a loved one and shirking responsibility for own deeds?
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 02:39:37 PM EST
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I can understand the difference, but in this case I suggest there might be a link.

On the other hand, I have no idea if the amnesia of both father and son was a deliberate ploy, or a shared state of denial.

When I say it makes no difference to the case, I meant the case whether Richard von W should be president again. He shouldn't (quite apart from his advanced age).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 02:49:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"In most countries (I'm open to counter-examples) a president is expected to be above the fray of party politics. "

In most countries a president is picked put of a number of party politicians with a long political career. It is true that the politician is then supposed to be able to rise about party politics.

"If picking a sitting minister is a serious possibility, then it's clearly not a consideration in Germany."

Mostly partisan alingment and fitness to act as above parties are both taken into consideration. Scheel did go directly from minister to president, Weizsäcker from state prime minister to president. Others like Rau had some time without office, but that is not considered as necessary.

 "And I have no idea why the SPD or Grünen would contribute to electing a CDU partisan."

Because they have no majority of their own in the assembly electing the president.

by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:48:36 AM EST
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by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:18:27 AM EST
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Schäuble or von der Leyen can do much less damage as president than as ministers.
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:18:55 AM EST
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at least von der Leyen can still dream of make it to chancellor.
by IM on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:26:15 AM EST
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God forbid
by Katrin on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:33:03 AM EST
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"It's all about coalition politics" would be more like it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 11:59:02 AM EST
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