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Maybrit Illner: This guest tends not to sleep in Friedrich-Merz bed linen

Always these personal debates! In the end – Maybrit Illner already has half of her final word – the Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) complains that the content issues were neglected in this talk show. Digitization, artificial intelligence, "preservation of creation", which is Union German for climate policy – required. And of course that's true. But yes now. It is difficult to find evidence that the CDU is currently outstanding in clarifying any content.

As well as? "The programmatic further development of the Union will not be possible beyond the candidate's head," says political scientist Sabine Kropp from the Free University of Berlin on the program. A little later, Robin Alexander, journalist of the "Welt", put it like this: "Now is the time for the deals, not the content." So what should you do? You could just talk about development initiatives in the Sahel, that would be something new. But if you already talk about the CDU, it must really be a question of personnel: It is time for K questions after the party chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has declared her resignation. "Power struggle in the CDU – who can chancellor besides Merkel?" is the topic.

And who can? As expected, the three well-known gentlemen of the creation to be preserved, Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz and Jens Spahn, will be taken through. As expected, neither Tobias Hans nor his party friend Tilman Kuban, the chairman of the Junge Union, can be encouraged to categorically commit to one of the three and to mistreat the other two. Even if Kuban does not hide his friendship with Spahn, who is "well known", the other guests are also there for anticipatory criticism of individual candidate candidates. Katja Kipping, one of the party leaders of the left, for example, doesn't have to be asked for long: Friedrich Merz is the "prototype of the financial market lobbyist", she says; the campaign department of her party would therefore know what to do with him. Norbert Walter-Borjans, one of the two SPD leaders, also indicates that he does not sleep in Merz bed linen. However, the stop is "the pop star of a certain direction". You can probably put it the other way around: Merz would not be very bad for their own profile in both eyes.

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What about Thuringia? A short stopover in Thuringia: Who will become prime minister after the "Drama of Erfurt" (Illner)? Is it the CDU's incompatibility decision, which does not allow cooperation with the left? Kuban, the JU chairman, leaves little doubt of this by using the phrases "unjust state", "SED heirs" and "moral index finger" in his sentences – he only forgets to call "bingo". In any case, the left Bodo Ramelow will not be elected, he says, "because it contradicts the party's DNA at the end". His DNA analysis shows: "We are Helmut Kohl's party."

Katja Kipping says it is "idiocy" to equate left and right. In Thuringia, where you are "in an exceptional situation", you can see where it leads if you exclude cooperation with the left: "The CDU in the Bund is still used to the West German Bonn situation."

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But back to the K question, who will actually run for the Union in the end? A small betting community is set up, in which, however, only the non-politicians participate in the community. Political scientist Kropp says she would "bet" on Merz "right now" – although: Would the voters find him as good as the CDU members? This shows doubts: "If you let the members decide, Merz is still the number," says journalist Robin Alexander. In political Berlin, however, Spahn is now trading more strongly. And Laschet? Well. The extended type "the good old Federal Republic of Kohl and Merkel". The question, however, is whether "the times are not yet over." The real question for the Union, says CDU Presidium member Tobias Hans, is: "What is the effect of a candidate if he is then also available for election?" Do you – as Robin Alexander puts it – make a "classic black and yellow offer"? Or do you take "another" who "blurs the differences, who puts the voters to sleep a little"? And connected with it: "What is actually better for our democracy? There are two answers." Mind you: two, not three. Maybrit Illner only needs to add up one and one: "Spahn or Merz."

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Which would actually clarify the candidate question for this evening: Two talk guests reject Merz, one Laschet, one sympathizes with Spahn. The only thing that remains open is what those who will actually decide will eventually say.
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