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Friday, March 31, 2023

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Scratches on the feminist image: Robert Habeck is only a man – opinion

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It almost was the perfect performance, but now the offended male ego comes to the fore. After Robert Habeck announced his co-federal chairwoman Annalena Baerbock on Monday as Chancellor candidate of the Greens and then quickly crumbled, his hearts flew to him. A man who selflessly and complainlessly gives up power for a woman – that is what the country needed.

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While many German media companies were still enthusiastic about pounding the keys in order to write appropriate hymns of praise, Habeck himself gave an interview directly after the appearance of “Zeit” in which he presented himself as a martyr. Baerbock’s day was the “most painful” and “hardest” of his political career, he says, a “personal defeat”. Habeck literally: “I wanted nothing more than to serve this republic as Chancellor.”

A penchant for melodrama

On the one hand, it’s nice that men talk about disappointments in politics too. In contrast to warriors like Markus Söder or pragmatists with a cold impression like Olaf Scholz, Habeck stands for a new type of politician, thoughtful, courageous, vulnerable. But his painful interview now also reveals a lot of vanity.

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The politician already showed a slight tendency towards melodrama in 2019 when, after a few Twitter flops, he deleted his account there with a grand gesture and switched to Instagram, where everyone is a little nicer to each other.

Apparently there was a real competition

In “Die Zeit”, Habeck feeds the thesis that gender was the most important factor in the candidacy decision. The fact that Baerbock is a woman was “a central criterion” in a male-dominated election campaign, he says – and does not mention anything else. From Habeck’s complaints it can also be heard that he did not give up the candidate option as voluntarily and magnanimously as previously assumed, but that there was apparently a veritable competition that Baerbock won.

Above all, however, it is the time of the interview that testifies to Habeck’s offended ego. Yes, he is injured, but who is using it to make it public now when the newly elected Chancellor candidate is spreading the Greens’ content in the interview marathon? Now Habeck’s sensitivities dominate the headlines. With that, his image as a radiant feminist hero got a few scratches. Habeck has left the stage to his competitor – yes. But not long enough.

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