Edward who? The hysteria surrounding the spying revelations by Edward Snowden had no impact on yesterday's national election in Germany. Today Angela Merkel is waking up as the most powerful woman in the world after voters handed her one of the most impressive mandates in Germany's postwar political history.
It seems like an eternity, but just four weeks ago Angela Merkel was being accused of abdicating Germany's sovereignty to the CIA. Week after week Spiegel columnists Sascha Lobo ("Die Regierung kapituliert vor der NSA") and Jakob Augstein (Merkel lässt die Deutschen im Stich) criticized the chancellor for working hand in glove with American spying agencies to usher in a new "soft totalitarianism'(Augstein). The Social Democrats, believing the hype, saw a tactical opening and pursued an anti-American campaign, hoping to replicate the success of Gerhard Schroeder and his opposition to George W. Bush. The SPD candidate Peer Steinbrück came close to accusing Angela Merkel of treason. Not to be forgotten, the Pirate Party believed they could ride the NSA scandal to electoral gains: Internet privacy was the centerpiece of its campaign.
But all of this hyperventilating about the "evil Americans" (böse Amis) didn't impress the German voters. The SPD suffered one of its worst results in recent memory; the Pirate Party has faded to less than 2%.
Angela Merkel and the CDU have always been a reliable partner of the US. Her overwhelming victory must be blow to the pro-Putin voices on the German left.