‘Dear Mr. Laschet: Stop laughing’: After Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet had to laugh in the flood area, the excitement is great – also in the media. The press reviews.
The Federal President wants to donate consolation. Those who lost loved ones, homes, yards and businesses as a result of the floods. While Steinmeier expresses dismay, Armin Laschet, who stands behind him, laughs. The slip on Saturday for the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister has provoked sharp criticism.
Commentators describe Laschet’s laugh as ‘inappropriate, unprofessional, insensitive’. The Union’s candidate for chancellor could ‘fall this moment of inattention to his feet.’ The press reviews.
The media response to the Laschet-Lacher in the flood area
‘Stuttgarter Zeitung’: ‘Baerbock’s restraint is wise, Laschet’s appearance is not always stylish. Misunderstood sentences and scenes that can be instrumentalized for malicious video snippets can quickly turn these difficult days into a baerbock moment for him – an unexpected stumbling block. Merkel has cleverly avoided her appearance giving rise to misinterpretation as an election campaign show for Laschet. Determination is required, but words and deeds must be weighed with great caution. ‘
‘Rhein-Zeitung’(Koblenz): ‘First of all, the region needs practical help – and money. Lot of money. There are no quick answers to the disaster other than this one. Politicians have to take a look and help practically. Right away. So, dear Ms. Baerbock: Learn the meaning of this word. It embodies reality and breaks green seminar filter bubbles. And, dear Mr. Laschet: stop laughing. As quickly as possible. Rather, take an example from your party colleague Angela Merkel. She promised to come back. When we return, we will see whether ‘immediately’ actually meant ‘immediately’. That’s how chancellorship works. ‘
‘Westphalian News’(Münster): ‘The Federal President expresses his condolences to the victims of the flood disaster, and Chancellor candidate Laschet giggles in the background. His prompt pardon with all due respect – this picture and the impression conveyed with it will accompany the humorous Rhinelander in the election campaign for even longer. (…) To deny him the chancellor format because of this undoubtedly embarrassing, irresponsible and irreverent incident seems inappropriate. ‘
‘Swabian Newspaper’(Ravensburg): ‘Grinning and joking while the Federal President speaks, while helpers fight on the verge of exhaustion and people stand in front of the ruins of their existence, that is inappropriate, unprofessional, insensitive, no question about it. This moment of inattention can still fall nastily on the feet of the chancellor candidate. The past few weeks have shown how quickly the mood can change in this election campaign. To read out of a 20-second video snippet a character unsuitable for the highest government office, but shows how the sense of the essentials is gradually being lost in the constantly agitated political debate. This applies to Laschets Lacher as well as to the missing footnotes in the book of his competitor Annalena Baerbock. ‘
‘New Osnabrück Newspaper’: ‘You are probably doing Armin Laschet an injustice if you question the sincerity of his sympathy. But the lack of professionalism raises doubts as to whether he already has the status of a statesman. Even a cheerful Rhenish person should have an instinct for a dignified appearance in such painful moments. Laschet should have been an apprentice to Angela Merkel. The Chancellor may have made mistakes during her reign, but one thing cannot be denied: she is a state woman through and through. Merkel also hit the right note on her visit to the crisis region. For the Union chancellor candidate, the race for chancellorship is not yet lost, but Laschet can no longer afford such missteps. ‘
‘Nordwest-Zeitung’(Oldenburg): ‘A certain pattern is emerging in the election campaign: Both favorites for the Chancellery, both Laschet and Baerbock, fail on the federal political stage. This is all the more noticeable because it would certainly not have happened to Angela Merkel. A smirking Chancellor in the disaster area? Difficult to imagine. Laschet should be from incumbent Merkel So now, as quickly as possible, copy an important property: make it as invisible as possible. After all, that worked for years. ‘
Images of the flood
‘Vehicles become the plaything of the water masses’ – floods reach Bavaria, Saxony and Austria
‘Badish newspaper’: ‘Laschet could be seen laughing, even smirking, when Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke to the people in Erftstadt on Saturday. Given the situation, it may be explainable – maybe someone made a gallows-humorous remark, and laughing is healthy. In the situation, however, it was very inappropriate, long-term political consequences not ruled out. Lash apologized. It is up to them whether the local people grant it to him. Political competition would do well not to exploit Laschet’s mistakes any further – they too are not immune to stylistic errors. ‘
‘Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger’: ‘Soon after the pictures of the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, who smirked during a speech in the back of the Federal President in the disaster area, another recording made the rounds. It now shows a joking Frank-Walter Steinmeier – in Laschet’s back, while he spoke of a catastrophe of the century. It’s a media disaster. In principle, laughing is also allowed in disaster situations. Sometimes they cannot be mastered otherwise. But statesmen like Laschet and Steinmeier should have themselves under control when it comes to expressing condolences or encouraging people. ‘
‘Frankfurter Rundschau’: ‘A politician who appears in public obviously does not do so as a private person. He has to be a ‘functionary’ in a thoroughly positive sense. In this case he had the function of expressing the feeling of being touched, the solidarity with those affected and the empathy of an entire country. This is not a show. It serves to make collective compassion symbolically visible in the person of a man who claims to represent the collective. Anyone who cannot ‘function’ as a politician in this sense is simply unsuitable for one of the highest offices in the state. If he’s laughing in the wrong place privately, okay. But then he should look for a future as a private citizen. ‘