She looked at me, morning-hazy, brows skewed but hopeful.
“Frau Kanzlerin,” I said. “Be honest with them. Deutschland will love you for it and it could carry you beyond the 2013 election.”
“Ach so,” she said. She patted her hair – typically, a mid-morning mess – and sipped her seventh coffee for the day. “Dietmar, ich glaube, du hast recht. Dietmar, you are right, I think.”
I sat on the corner of her desk, and crossing my ankles and swinging my feet, looked past her hangdog wrinkles – caused by sleepless nights worrying about the Greece bail-out, immigration problems and Berlin’s shitbag local economy – and smiled. Angela Merkel can be a sweetie when she wants to be.
I patted her on the hand. “Now, we can leak it through usual channels,” I said. “Or do it officially. Or you can make a personal appearance on the new shopping channel premiering tomorrow.”
“You choose, Dietmar,” she said. “Ich bin zu müde. I am too tired.”
Leider, the new shopping channel was scrambled – another victim of the Global Financial Crisis, just another wrinkle for the hardest working woman in German politics – so she said it off-the-cuff quasi-officially in a Bunte interview: “Ich bin wohl eher ein Morgenmuffel.”
She hates mornings, she said. Next day, it made headlines in all the important newspapers, including die Berliner Zeitung. Look at her face and hair, they all said. Let her get up later and everything will get better.
Good call, though. Honesty is changing the course of history.