Söder in Berlin in front of a Laschet poster: "If it had been about the biography of Merz, Röttgen or Spahn, I would also have accepted"
Photo: Britta Pedersen / dpa
Markus Söder walks through the Berlin Meistersaal.
He greets now left, now right, and climbs three wooden steps to the stage.
Heavy red curtains frame the scenery.
The place is noble, and the occasion too: the Bavarian Prime Minister has come to present a biography.
However, not his own, but of all things the one through his competitors: Armin Laschet, North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister.
The 384-page book is called "Der Machtmenschliche".
On the cover Laschet crosses his arms and looks the viewer in the eye.
Klartext-Verlag printed the book's motif on large displays.
From there, Laschet can now look into the wood-paneled hall full of journalists - and towards Söder.
He has taken a seat on the stage in a black armchair, ready to talk about his Union colleague for the next hour.
In fact: positively.
What was the matter with the cup?
But first, the moderator wants to know something else from Söder: What was the cup at the CSU party conference on the weekend?
Markus Söder had prominently placed his vessel there with the inscription "Winter is coming".
In the US series "Game of Thrones" this is an allusion to an approaching mortal danger.
When Söder poured tea into the cup, the writing changed to "Winter is here".
In his speech, the CSU boss then spoke about a difficult winter and the development of the corona infection numbers in Germany, lifting the cup and putting it in front of him again without drinking.
This sparked speculation about Söder's hidden messages.
If you believe the authors of the Laschet biography, Tobias Blasius and Moritz Küpper, then everything should have been staged.
"While others like his Bavarian CSU counterpart Markus Söder can subordinate every public word and every gesture to a higher goal, Laschet reliably affords himself moments of unprofessional emotionality and erratic spontaneity", they write about the competitors.
Author Blasius, politician Söder, author Küpper, "Funke" editor-in-chief Jörg Quoos
Photo: Britta Pedersen / dpa
On stage, Markus Söder is silent about the cup.
After a few seconds the moderator tries again: "Was that your idea with Game of Thrones?"
Söder declines: "I'm a fan of interesting cups."
It was a coincidence that she stood there.
Söder's goal for this morning is obviously not to talk about cups.
Instead, he demonstrates agreement with Laschet.
They are perceived as opponents: as prime ministers in the struggle for the best anti-corona course.
As possible candidates for chancellor of the Union parties.
Söder, the power man.
And Armin Laschet, the "power man", the Rhenish impulse man, as Blasius and Küpper write.
But Söder doesn't want to philosophize about differences that day.
He prefers to talk about how humorous he finds "Armin" and how great it is that Laschet is an Aachen fan of FC Bayern.
"That's clever. You don't have to choose between Dortmund, Cologne and Gladbach," jokes Söder.
Söder also found something in common in Laschet's ties to the Catholic Church.
"By the way, he can recite all the popes backwards. I find that very impressive," says Söder.
Meanwhile, Armin Laschet is actually on his way to Rome, where he will also visit the Pope.
Blasius and Küpper describe the drifting apart of Laschet and Söder in the corona crisis as follows: While the Franconian, as an edgy crisis manager, quickly declared controls at the crossings to Austria to be "indispensable", Laschet did not want the cross-border coexistence in the three-country corner near Aachen to the corona virus to sacrifice.
He is concerned with the large number of cross-border commuters, with supply chains, but above all with "a European way of life".
Markus Söder has come up with a different story about the corona pandemic: At the beginning of the crisis, Bavaria made the decision to close the schools in front of NRW.
When Laschet also decided to close schools, he wrote Söder an SMS: "You are right. That was the right way."
That's how Söder tells it.
Title: The Power Human: Armin Laschet.
Number of pages: 384
Author: Tobias Blasius, Moritz Küpper
Buy for € 25.00
Price query time
09/30/2020 7:28 p.m.
Order at AmazonIcon: amazon
Order from ThaliaIcon: thalia
Product reviews are purely editorial and independent.
Via the so-called affiliate links above, we usually receive a commission from the dealer when making a purchase.
More information here
He himself later found the idea of masks in schools good and Laschet did the same.
"Especially when it comes to corona, it has to be okay to keep questioning yourself," says Söder.
Due to the crisis, he has won the approval of the population and leads the polls in terms of candidate for chancellor.
Nevertheless, he emphasizes again that his place is in Bavaria.
"There is still a lot of room for change in all of the surveys."
One thing Söder wants to make absolutely clear on this day: "If it had been about the biography of Merz, Röttgen or Spahn, I would have agreed."
Or maybe not.
You won't find out because there is no such date.
By the way, in a few weeks Laschet will be able to return the favor to Söder.
Then he presents a biography about Söder.
Laschet agreed without hesitation, they say.
Icon: The mirror