The Ad Guru Hired to Help Reshape Angela Merkel’s Image

Poets and historians have filled thick tomes in attempting to define the modern German character. But Thomas Strerath, one of the image makers behind the re-election campaign of Chancellor Angela Merkel, says he can manage it in only two words: Angst and Gemütlichkeit, or, in rough translation, “anxiety” and “coziness.”

“They go hand in hand,” he told TIME one gray morning in early September, when the roller-coaster ride of Merkel’s campaign was drawing to a close, leaving only the slow and sputtering anti­climax of the vote itself. With her center-right Christian Democratic Union party holding a consistent polling lead of about 15 points over its closest rival, Merkel is expected to sail into her fourth term in office on Sept. 24. The main intrigue left in these elections is over who will serve as the junior partner in her next coalition government.

Things weren’t supposed to be this easy for Merkel. Her decision to welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Muslim world has weighed heavily on her approval rating. One year ago, in September 2016, it hit a five-year low of 45%, according to an ARD-Tagesthemen poll. Voters in the U.S. and Europe, meanwhile, have been …read more

Source:: Time – Science

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