Since the beginning of August, the Social Democrats have seen a jump from 16 to 26 percent in opinion polls in the final weeks of Germany’s federal election campaign. The SPD’s Kanzlerkandidat Olaf Scholz is largely credited with this turnaround. In snap polls following each of the three television debates between the three candidates for chancellor, Scholz was dubbed the winner for projecting continuity after Angela Merkel leaves office. After the most recent debate this past Sunday, 42 percent of viewers found him to be the most convincing. The CDU’s Armin Laschet ranked second with 27 percent, followed by the Green’s Annalena Baerbock at 25 percent.
Olaf Scholz has several key advisors yet few of them are as close to him as Wolfgang Schmidt, who currently serves as State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance. Their political careers have been intertwined for 20 years, and since early this year Schmidt has been an outspoken advocate for his boss. He believes Olaf Scholz is the best person to succeed Angela Merkel. Join us for a discussion about the turnaround of the SPD and the career of Olaf Scholz.