If a doorman in central Berlin asks you to step aside with urgency in his voice, I’ve learned it’s best not to assume he has done so merely because you are standing outside the city’s snootiest hotel.
You could be caught unaware only seconds later, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel exits the hotel – passing right in front of you – with no fanfare to speak of (except maybe the doorman?) and a relatively small security presence by U.S. standards. You, like me and my colleagues on a fellowship here in Berlin, might manage to get photos only of the Chancellor’s departing car. Angela Merkel moves fast.
These days, Angela Merkel needs to move fast. On Sunday, voters in Greece head to the polls in elections that could determine the fate of Greece in the Euro zone, and quite possibly the global economy along with it. Sunday also brings parliamentary elections in France that could affect the balance of power between Mrs. Merkel and her new French counterpart. (Things don’t seem to be going so well between them, just now.) There’s also a G20 summit that Mrs. Merkel needs to get to in Mexico.
Here in Berlin this week, I’ve heard Mrs. Merkel’s style of unassuming leadership described as ‘soft.’ Now I’m left wondering if maybe it’s just too hard to see everything the German Chancellor has been doing because she’s always moving at too fast a speed for everyone to document it.