On Monday lunchtime it was enough for Olaf Scholz for the first time.

The SPD candidate for Chancellor had been following since Sunday evening as the top of his party tried to make the FDP submissive through threats and insults.

Then he spoke a word of power: It's not his style.

Peter Carstens

Political correspondent in Berlin

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Scholz hadn't slept much, but was well rested to realize that, from his point of view, something was going in the completely wrong direction.

Talking badly about each other is not an option, said Scholz at a press conference after the SPD presidium meeting, where the party had bluntly discussed the further course.

The meeting lasted longer than expected.

And, according to Scholz afterwards, everyone should and should talk to everyone else: “It is completely okay if those with whom we want to work also speak to one another.

We want a government that is built on trust. "

Scholz is about creating trust

That was Scholz's clear announcement: Do not blame the others, do not "conduct parts of the coalition talks in public", where you can "read in louder papers what one thinks of the other". He thinks nothing of it. "All of us, we have agreed that we will not go through and discuss individual points carefully with the press, but with the friends with whom we want to govern."

The word “friends” for the Greens and the FDP must have hit the two party leaders Saskia Esken and Walter-Borjans hard. Scholz chose it carefully. It's about building trust. "The voters have very clearly instructed us to form a coalition with the Greens and the FDP, and we now want that too," said Scholz. From the large gathering of foreign correspondents and their questions about European stability, the German-British relationship or the transatlantic partnership, the opinion spoke that, at least among these observers, one began to reckon with Scholz as the future chancellor.

Concerns were expressed about the vacuum that dragging negotiations could create.

Scholz said he was aiming to form a coalition by Christmas.

From the point of view of the SPD, they want to sound out quickly and briefly, then decide what is going on.

He strives for a coalition "that works well, for all three parties, for the supporters and for the country".

Everything must "lead to a good result, so that the supporters say: I like that, you did it well."

We are looking for a government project for more than four years

And then Scholz added a sentence that in any case does not yet match the party leadership's continued red-green or red-red-green wishes for the future: “I think a government that has been formed must govern together in such a way that it trusts itself to be re-elected. ”In this reading, the“ coalition of a narrative of progress ”, as Scholz called it, would then be a project for more than four years and not a bridge to new constellations.

The election winner on Sunday then reminded on the one hand how badly the FDP had been treated by the Union last (2009-2013).

And how good the memories of the social-liberal coalition and the social-ecological coalition are.

You can build on that.

At first, the SPD did not want to comment on the composition, size of delegations and schedules. A six-person exploratory team is to hold initial talks with the Greens and the FDP. These include Scholz, Esken, Walter-Borjans, Klingbeil, the parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich and Malu Dreyer, who successfully leads a traffic light coalition in Mainz. When asked that morning, Scholz addressed an important person: Mützenich, who just defended his constituency in Cologne, should continue to play an important role. "We all agree that the current group leader is a really great man."

That is also seen in the group. Mützenich was “a very important building block for our common building. Without him, the two party chairmen, the general secretary and I would not have managed to develop this great line for so long. ”Mützenich will probably be elected again on Thursday as chairman of the SPD parliamentary group, which has grown from 152 to 206 members. It is unclear whether, as we have heard, he will eventually become President of the Bundestag in October.

In the future, however, all four constitutional bodies would be headed by men, including three from the SPD - Federal Chancellor Scholz, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the President of the Bundestag. Scholz had promised parity between men and women if he became chancellor. Should Mützenich take over the office, Steinmeier's prospects for a second term would be ruined.

But until then it is still a long way.

On Monday evening, the political conversation of the Social Democrats shifted to the garden party of the Seeheimer Kreis, an association of more conservative SPD members.

The Parliamentary Left (PL) celebrates its festival this Tuesday.

At both meetings, as on the evening of the election in the Willy Brandt House, many party comrades would turn up who, after years of distance, have been looking for closeness to social democracy over the past few days - and to potential posts.

Not a very graceful picture, but an indication of the location after the election.