- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
A ‘bird’ in hand proves costly for German challenger
Steinbruck’s rude gesture dominates last-campaign coverage
Question of the Day
MUNICH — You’d think Anthony Weiner was his campaign manager.
Peer Steinbruck, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leading challenger in national elections later this month, is getting new attention not for his platform but for having directed a universally understood obscene hand gesture at reporters and editors in a recent interview with a top German newspaper.
Mr. Steinbruck’s middle finger has been the talk of Germany ever since the picture of his gesture appeared in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung last Friday as part of a weekly column in which guests are asked to respond to questions with gestures, rather than words.
The newspaper reported that it is illegal to give the bird, or “stink finger” as they call it in Germany, an offense that can lead to a fine of about $800 to $5,000.
“I think it shows that he has the freedom of the assured loser,” said Jacob Kirkegaard, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “If he really thought he could be chancellor of Germany, he would not have OK’ed the release of that picture.”
But it has been a difficult campaign for the center-left Social Democrats, who trail the more conservative Mrs. Merkel and Christian Democratic coalition by double digits with less than a week to go before voters head to the polls Sept. 22. Mrs. Merkel appears primed to win a third term as chancellor in Europe’s most financially-stable country.
In a TNS Emnid poll released Sunday, the Christian Democrats held a 39 percent to 26 percent lead over the Social Democrats. Another poll, conducted by YouGov, found the race was a bit tighter at 38 percent to 27 percent.
But in terms of the candidates’ individual popularity, Forschungsgruppe Wahlen found that 59 percent of German voters would pick Mrs. Merkel, compared to just 32 percent for Mr. Steinbruck, if they could vote directly for chancellor. Instead, they vote for a party that then selects a chancellor.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tim Devaney is a national reporter who covers business and international trade for The Washington Times. Previously, he worked for the Detroit News, Grand Rapids Press, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News. Tim can be reached at email@example.com.
- Dysfunction, disarray at Homeland Security management cited in IG's report
- GM's Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- Treasury sells last shares in 'Government Motors'
- U.S. businesses reach out quickly to partners in Iran
- General Motors ending Chevrolet sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- HURT: Impeaching Obama is a losing strategy for the GOP
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world