Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Merkel is going to get the bonus of low expectations. She's easily exceeded those. To turn this thing around, Schröder needed to demolish Merkel. That hasn't happened (and was never particularly likely to happen). Overall, I thought this was a better debate than the two matchups  between Schröder and Stoiber three years ago. Too much of those were dominated by a personality issue - Stoiber's irritable and irritating petulance. Merkel has clearly outdone Stoiber. Other than that, the main issues of the debate were the conservatives' tax policies (Schröder won that one) and who was able to project more optimism (chalk one up for Merkel there). Overall, no clear winner, but Merkel wins by default since Schröder had to accomplish much more than she did - and he didn't.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 4th, 2005 at 04:22:27 PM EST

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