Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser wants to become head of government in Hesse, but will remain a minister for the time being. Another question is more serious.

Women are familiar with multiple burdens: husband and children, household and job, often volunteer work, and grandma may also have to be cared for. help is rare. So far, so anger.

Nancy Faeser also has a husband, child and a demanding job. Nevertheless, the Federal Minister of the Interior also wants to become Prime Minister in her Hessian homeland, where elections will be held in October. And why shouldn’t she play a dual role for the time being: as a member of the federal government and as a campaigner in the state?

The plan had barely leaked out on Tuesday when the opposition from the left to the CDU demanded that Faeser resign as minister immediately. Duplication doesn’t work. Even in Faeser’s traffic light coalition, resentment quickly arose: the ministry was “not a suitable campaign platform in these serious times,” said Wolfgang Kubicki from the partner FDP. Greens interior expert Konstantin von Notz warned that the double job would “inevitably lead to one of the tasks being neglected and would simply be highly error-prone”.

The majority of Germans also reject a part-time interior minister: In a Kantar survey commissioned by FOCUS, almost half of those surveyed said Faeser would have to resign from her ministerial post if she campaigned.

At the same time, there are three actors who see things differently, albeit for different reasons.

First: the chancellor. Olaf Scholz has already lost two female ministers. The Green Family Minister Anne Spiegel had to go around the Ahr Valley flood after unsuccessful performances. After a number of mishaps and embarrassments, Christine Lambrecht was unstoppable as head of the Bundeswehr. Faeser would be the third outgoing cabinet minister, although she would not be accused of incompetence like the other two. But Scholz would have to rebuild his cabinet again. What does that look like?

Second: the Wiesbaden comrades who suffer from a deep-seated trauma. In 2008, the party left Andrea Ypsilanti tried to create a government with the support of the Left Party, although she had promised before election day that she would not do exactly that. The breaking of the word reverberates to this day. You need the charisma of a federal politician like Faeser, who is well networked and, above all, prominent.

Thirdly, Faeser himself is convinced of this. The remaining risk that her notoriety could be dangerous for her – for example because a political scandal shook her work in Berlin – she apparently accepts.

One question remains: What will she do if she doesn’t become prime minister in October? Just keep going in Berlin? Or lead the SPD opposition in the state parliament from now on? The latter sounds bleak, the former cowardly. The voters also want a bit of courage and risk without a safety net when someone runs for high office.

Faeser’s dilemma: If you now announce that you are taking the return ticket route, you have probably already lost the Hesse election. Incidentally, it has been proven that the strategy can fail. That it can work as well. The CDU politician Manfred Kanther once kept his job as Minister of the Interior when he fought for the post of head of government in Hesse in 1995. Kanther’s CDU even got the most votes at the time. The government was then formed by Red-Green anyway, after which Kanther went back to the old job. Nobody got upset.

Norbert Röttgen, who tried something similar in 2012, had a different experience. But when he failed miserably in the fight for power on the Rhine in North Rhine-Westphalia and returned to Berlin, not only Union partner Horst Seehofer got upset. A few days later, Chancellor Röttgen dropped. In the end he lost everything.

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