ONTD Political

German candidate campaigns on Merkel cleavage

11:50 pm - 08/19/2009
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I thought this community could use something completely different, what with the predominance of posts about the US health care debates. This is a small, somewhat bizarre tidbit from the German election campaigns.

German candidate campaigns on Merkel cleavage

Associated Press Writer

BERLIN (AP) -- Debate is raging in Germany over whether a campaign poster using a now infamous photograph of Chancellor Angela Merkel in a deep-cut evening gown is cleverly ironic or downright tacky.

However you see it, the poster is adding some spice to what is shaping up to be an otherwise dull campaign leading up to Sept. 27 German parliamentary elections.

The poster shows a picture of Christian Democrat candidate Vera Lengsfeld, 57, in a low-cut evening gown alongside a well-known 2008 photo of Merkel, the party leader, taken at her appearance at the gala opening of Oslo's opera house.

"We have more to offer," reads the slogan under the revealing photos of the two women's chests - a twist on the Christian Democrats official slogan, "We have the power."

Lengsfeld, a former dissident in what was then East Germany, is vying for a seat in the parliament. She said on her Web page Thursday the poster had attracted more than 31,000 hits.

It has also generated plenty of comments, not all of them positive. Many have charged that it is in poor taste, others have called it a "prostitute poster" and still others have charged it was sexist.

"What is sexist about two women in evening gowns?" Lengsfeld quipped in response.

But many have praised the posters for their quirky irony.

"I have to say one thing," wrote a Peter N. on Thursday. "Angela Merkel is the only chancellor who has become more beautiful during her tenure in office - something that cannot be said about male politicians!"

Merkel declined Thursday to comment on her image on the poster.

"It was Vera Lengsfeld's decision and I think that is enough said," Merkel said in an interview with German radio.

"I would rather discuss the issues on our posters."

At the time the photo from her Oslo gown appeared in newspapers across the globe, she expressed surprise that it attracted so much attention.


Associated Press Writer Michael Fischer contributed to this report.

I have to say that I don't get the feeling that debate is actually "raging in Germany", as the article claims - there are a few actual scandals currently going on, and of course the problems with the economy etc., so this really isn't a big issue.

tiajuanabible 19th-Aug-2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
fauxparadiso 19th-Aug-2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
First thought was, "They should battle PETA for "Best at Objectifying Women".

Awkward to put it in an election campaign, it just shows a lack of class. In the US it's bad enough with the attack ads, I'd be disgusted if they added this kind of stuff.
lied_ohne_worte 19th-Aug-2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
Well, we don't really have attack ads, so I guess things cancel each other out. ;-P
insanitys_soul 19th-Aug-2009 11:16 pm (UTC)
*Walks off shaking head*
foofighter0234 20th-Aug-2009 12:24 am (UTC)
Wir haben pfanakuken fur alle!
lied_ohne_worte 20th-Aug-2009 07:13 am (UTC)
Heh. (Psst: it's "Pfannkuchen". I think I'm going to make some tonight.)
foofighter0234 20th-Aug-2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
Heh. (oops. I'd better spell it right next time. ;))
haruhiko 20th-Aug-2009 01:24 am (UTC)
likeglamour 20th-Aug-2009 01:29 am (UTC)
lmao i loved what colbert said about that
toki_wartooth 20th-Aug-2009 03:08 am (UTC)
What did he say?
toki_wartooth 20th-Aug-2009 04:03 pm (UTC)
XDD Good times.
toki_wartooth 20th-Aug-2009 03:08 am (UTC)
Ich hab' keine Ahnung, was ich sagen kann. Aber finde ich diesen Artikel interessant. Danke schön. ;]

(English translation: I have no idea what I can say. But I find this article interesting. Thank you.)
lied_ohne_worte 20th-Aug-2009 07:14 am (UTC)
Bitteschön! Ich weiß auch nicht so richtig, was ich von der ganzen Sache halten soll.
scolaro 20th-Aug-2009 06:49 am (UTC)
Come fucking ON. She decided herself to run with the poster, no one forced her to.
As if this country didn't have any other problems...
lied_ohne_worte 20th-Aug-2009 07:12 am (UTC)
But... but... we have to have some scandals, even if it's just about who took which car where and what politicians wear on posters! *grins*

You know, the images and the perceived "sexism" doesn't really bug me at all. The only thing that does is that this poster doesn't even try to hide its complete emptiness of any political information or facts etc. (which of course is a feature of many of these posters, but most aren't that obvious).
scolaro 20th-Aug-2009 12:12 pm (UTC)
Excellent point. I didn't even see that, because almost ALL the posters are the same in this respect. (Apart from the Piratenpartei ones, maybe.)
But I do beg to differ: The "Dienstwagenaffäre" caused a very valid discussion and there's hope it will result in some stricter rules. I'd like to see that.

Edited at 2009-08-20 12:12 pm (UTC)
lied_ohne_worte 20th-Aug-2009 02:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, I was being a bit facetious. I absolutely agree that the Dienstwagenaffäre is an issue, especially as it's not the first time this kind of thing has happened. I simply meant that our German scandals tend to be so much less juicy than the US ones with Argentinian mistresses, pageboys, toilet encounters, so people seem to be desperate for something that is at least a little scandalous.
scolaro 20th-Aug-2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
LOL. So true. XD

I remember discussing the Clinton scandal with someone from the US (ages ago) and told her that even if Schröder had been caught celebrating orgies in the Bundestag no one would have demanded to remove him, provided he continued to improve the economy. Sure, the Bild-Zeitung would have had a field day (several weeks, even), but the German media most likely wouldn't have mixed his personal life together with his private one.
We're really pretty strict when it comes to that kind of stuff. :-D

(Remember, Schröder even HAD a mistress, and you hardly ever read anything about that. It was always boring politic decisions instead. *gg*)

Our discussion went down the drain somewhat, though, when she told me that it would have been okay for Clinton to have sex in his bedroom, but it was certainly NOT okay to have it in the Oval Office...
applegnat 20th-Aug-2009 10:00 am (UTC)
Chancellor Merkel, that was an excellent response. Tip of the hat to you.
showercapfrog 20th-Aug-2009 10:55 am (UTC)
Yay, German news! (also for once this fits into the ontd part of ontd_political!)

And Merkel's response was great. "She wanted to!"
mercaque 20th-Aug-2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
Goddamn, Merkel has put up with SO much sexist crap (like the British tabloid that got pictures of her on vacation, or George Bush's little massage). It's a little depressing that another woman would get in on the act. But then I love that Merkel just seems to be a total fierce bitch about it and is like "Idgaf, I'm showing off my chest and you people can just deal with it."
lied_ohne_worte 20th-Aug-2009 02:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I didn't vote for her party, and I don't plan to do so this election, but I think she has constantly been very good at dealing with nonsense like this. In the public perception, her gender has never been such a huge issue as it was for Clinton or Palin. Of course that also has to do with the fact that our whole election system is different, and we don't directly vote for a Chancellor candidate. I guess any completely candidate-oriented campaign would be different.

Bush's massage? I think I would have slapped him before even realising who he was.
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