Christine Lambrecht’s New Year’s Eve video shows how instinctively the defense minister acts. Instead of finally getting problems in the Bundeswehr under control, Chancellor Scholz gradually makes them look like a “turning point”. Anyone who begs to be kicked out like this should be heard.
What drove Christine Lambrecht (SPD) to upload such a video of herself? While Putin’s terror regime is covering Ukraine with drone and rocket attacks, the Federal Minister of Defense stands in front of the cell phone camera at the Frankfurter Tor in Berlin-Friedrichshain at the turn of the year and stumbles together a kind of New Year’s speech. Rockets light up the night sky in the background, firecrackers bang.
“A war is raging in the middle of Europe,” Lambrecht rightly states in this setting of all places. But instead of at least addressing the suffering and heroism of the Ukrainians or Putin’s aggression, which violates international law, the minister gets personal, personally: “For me, there were a lot of special impressions that I was able to gain. Many, many encounters with interesting, great people. I would like to say a heartfelt thank you for that.”
If you didn’t know better, you could mistake the video for a parody. Unfortunately, that’s no laughing matter at all, not even for friends of hard-boiled humor. No one who still reflects to some extent on what comes out of their own lips would ever say such a sentence. It seems that Lambrecht lived on another star, in a galaxy many light years away.
In view of Putin’s threatening gestures, now would be the time to show leadership and strength in the here. Chancellor Scholz has made 100 billion euros available to his defense minister for his turning point. The order was: Arm and modernize the Bundeswehr quickly. Instead, one mishap follows the next.
If Scholz is not to go down in history as a “turning point”, Lambrecht must finally start delivering. After the New Year’s Eve video, it seems more questionable than ever that she is able to do this. Either the minister is so confident in herself or she is incredibly badly advised. But which PR department allows such a tasteless and instinctless video of the boss to see the light of day?
It is therefore suspected that Lambrecht has had enough of the tough job at the head of the Defense Ministry. Even more obviously, you can’t beg for his release. Lambrecht not only made a fool of himself, but also made Germany and the armed forces around the world either ridiculous or impossible.
The SPD politician, who promised Ukraine 5,000 helmets shortly before Putin’s invasion and, unlike Labor Minister Heil, has not been to Kyiv to this day, no longer needs to plan this trip after this failed New Year’s stunt.
What a pity. Because the 57-year-old could have taken object lessons from the Ukrainian President Selenskyj. The former comedian has become a real statesman, a leader in the fight against Putin. Lambrecht has mutated into a joke figure in recent months.
In the Federal Ministry of Defense, meanwhile, they are trying to avert damage from their own house and not to let the buck pass to them in the first place. A spokesman stressed that the video was privately recorded and did not use ministry resources.
The speaker also does not want to be associated with the content of the video. “The Minister’s words in the video speak for themselves. It’s not up to me to comment on that.” The deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann made a similar statement: “I see no reason to evaluate this here.” Defense sounds different.
It is to be wished for Christine Lambrecht that she no longer has to shoulder the burden of her task for much longer – and that she can also experience many, many encounters with interesting, great people in another function, preferably outside of the federal government.