When Angela Merkel (CDU) vacates the Chancellery soon, she can look forward to her home.

On the other hand, a harder fate awaits her close colleague and party friend Helge Braun.

Sooner or later, the head of the office from Hesse will have to exchange his spacious, light-flooded office with a fascinating panoramic view of Berlin for a relatively modest room in the vicinity of the Reichstag.

Ewald Hetrodt

Correspondent for the Rhein-Main-Zeitung in Wiesbaden.

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It will roughly correspond to the result that Braun achieved in the federal election on Sunday.

In the district of Gießen he got 29.6 percent of the first votes and thus lost to the rather unknown social democrat Felix Döring, who got 30.4 percent.

Braun had won the Gießen district three times in a row before narrowly losing it.

Braun's notoriety grew during the pandemic

But he doesn't have to worry too much.

As the top candidate of the Hessian CDU, Braun will move into parliament via the state list.

In addition, with a minus of 5.5 points in the first votes, it is below the average of the personal losses that the CDU candidates had to accept.

That is 7.9 points.

Braun's losses are smaller because the doctor made a name for himself on the national stage as a knowledgeable and influential “Minister for Special Tasks” during the pandemic.

The fact that the Germans were initially satisfied with their government not only ensured Merkel but also Prime Ministers such as Volker Bouffier (CDU) in Wiesbaden good survey results.

While the anesthetist Braun explained the corona strategy in countless television appearances, his level of awareness rose to unimagined heights, which the Hessian social democrats could only dream of.

Of course, he is happy when he is approached by strangers in the hardware store, for example, and praised for the federal government's corona policy, said Braun in one of the many interviews that he now had to give.

Food for the wrong people

But with the duration of the pandemic and in view of some questionable decisions threaded in the Chancellery, the satisfaction of Germans with the crisis management decreased. The Hessian received applause from the wrong side when he emerged at the beginning of the year by demanding that the debt brake be suspended for several years. It is only good that the CDU has thrown its failed fiscal policy principles overboard in the pandemic, praised the party leader of the Left, Jan Schalauske.

As early as the summer of last year, the one-time, short-term suspension of the debt brake by the Hessian government coalition triggered sharp criticism not only in the opposition, but also in parts of the Hessian CDU. The opposition amused the opposition and irritated its own people that Braun did not take this into account with his advance at the federal level. "That was unfortunate in terms of content and form," said party and government leader Bouffier publicly.

At the latest by this point in time, the idea that Braun could one day succeed Bouffier, which was occasionally articulated behind closed doors in the Hessian Union, had been settled.

Independently of this, the CDU delegates nominated their husband in the Chancellery in June of this year with a majority of 99 percent once again as their top candidate for the federal election.

At that time, Braun had no idea how important this position would be for him.

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