The situation in the morning - what Team Baerbock now wants to do differently

Despite the election campaign, we now have another relatively calm week politically. Many politicians are currently on vacation. And, as is usually the case, there are several valid perspectives on this circumstance: Breaks are important, politics also need holidays, but things should start slowly now - not with the very hot, but with a hotter phase in the election campaign.

Okay, the Baerbock affair was hot, but it had the effect that Armin Laschet was able to make himself too comfortable behind all the anger about his competitor. At the moment it looks like it will almost automatically come down to him as Chancellor.

About the SPD it is always said that a phase in the opposition would be good for it, but why is that said so seldom about the Union, which is responsible for several mask affairs and which is climate policy and otherwise rather ambitious?

Beyond all party-political preferences, wouldn't it be right to shake the self-image of the CDU / CSU as the Chancellor's electoral association, at least in the election campaign, so that the Union gets its content going?

Change mood is even more important than actual changes, because it inspires ambition in everyone involved in political business.

As I said, the Union owes its comfortable situation to Annalena Baerbock. Not all allegations against Baerbock are justified, but there are some among them that she had to deal with seriously. Undeclared income is definitely one of them, too suspicion of copyright infringement is no small matter - even if the Baerbock team tried briefly to create this impression.

That now seems to have penetrated as a realization, a change in strategy is recognizable: Die »Bild« -Zeitung reportsthat the Baerbock book should appear in the next edition with a list of sources. Robert Habeck jumps his co-boss with an interview in today's »Süddeutsche Zeitung«, but also admonishes its own people: »We have to blame ourselves for our mistakes«.

SPIEGEL explains the background to this change in strategy. My colleagues have reason to assume that it will not be easy for the Greens to escape the new mistrust with their rediscovered commitment to a better culture of error: "The public doubts about Baerbock have settled," they write.

Merkel's laugh muscles

When the Federal President felt called upon a few days ago, encouraged by questions, to worry that the German election campaign would turn out to be a "mud fight", that could well be an occasion to activate the laughing muscles. Measured against what was going on in the US election campaign last year, the mood in this country is more like that of a mindfulness seminar.

Now the times are fast moving, the US election and its historical consequences (storming the Capitol!) Are felt a long time ago, but a recent SPIEGEL conversation suddenly brings back memories.

The US author Michael Wolff tells about his most recent dinner with the Trumps in their kitsch temple Mar-a-Lago. Former US President Donald Trump is convinced that Chancellor Angela Merkel supports his lie about electoral fraud. Trump's advisors had persuaded their boss to believe this after the election defeat in order to "bring him good news." But now Merkel has to watch out for her laughing muscles.

The Confessions of Rezo and Julien Bam

Social media are rightly seen as the destroyer of human characteristics, which are actually a shame: forbearance, understanding, the ability to differentiate. But the courage to expose oneself on platforms where protection does not apply can obviously also help to develop an openness on topics that can use more openness because they are still taboo. Tell in an interview with SPIEGEL the YouTubers Rezo and Julien Bam about mental health problems, panic attacks and hospital stays. Rezo recounts a scene in which he wondered what it would be like to fall over a railing - to his death. The two use the familiarity they have acquired in social media to warn of stress that can exacerbate psychological problems - and are delightedly open in two respects.

They admit that the strain on them was also triggered by their permanent presence on the network. Today they were more reluctant here. "We tell each other that we shouldn't fuck each other too much, physically and mentally, with this wanting to do too much at once."

It is really not a new finding, but one that can be useful if you keep reminding yourself about it: Social media have advantages and Disadvantages, they do not give rise to cultural pessimism on their own. It's always just a question of how individuals use them.

Winner of the day ...

…is the Vaccine AstraZeneca Admittedly not, compared to other vaccines it is currently finding comparatively few buyers, but it would actually be entitled to it. A small talk topic that is currently working wonderfully in larger groups is the question of the vaccine that each participant received. For a long time, Biontech vaccinees had reason to feel triumphant. Recently, however, I was there in a round in which those who had received AstraZeneca as the first vaccine and were waiting for Biontech as a second vaccination could feel like winners: The so-called cross vaccination is considered to be particularly effective.