During the candidate’s presentation in Tübingen, Boris Palmer focuses on content-related questions. On the other hand, its competitors promise a different style.
The candidate solemnly vows: Even if the Maischbergers, Lanzens and Illners roll out the red carpet for him, he will not go on their talk shows as mayor, but will stay at the Tübingen town hall. It is not – of course – Boris Palmer who makes this pledge at the official presentation of the candidate for the mayoral elections in Tübingen on Wednesday evening, but Markus Vogt. Even the candidate of the satirical Party Party would be telegenic with the hat on his head. In any case, he thinks he knows what Tübingen’s most heartfelt wish is: to simply come from a town where no one beyond Kirchentellinsfurt knows the mayor’s name. For example Reutlingen. “Everyone has had their ‘I wish I was from Reutlingen’ moment during the holidays.”
This is very clear: if it were about the evaluations, the mayoral elections, which start on October 23, would have already taken place. But that is not the point, even if the official presentation of the candidate is broadcast on the Internet and – quite unusually for the election of a mayor of a medium-sized city – journalists from Deutschlandfunk and “Spiegel” are among the 400 visitors in the audience.
The chairperson points out minor differences
Palmer doesn’t care. He finishes his twelve-minute appearance in strictly timed events like televised minutes: self-assured, focused and always aggressive, although the rigid format knows no head-to-head. The differences in content between it and its fiercest competitors aren’t too big, Palmer says, and then quickly gets to the point: The new Saiben open space development area, which SPD candidate Sofie Geisel wants to alleviate the housing shortage. only since it will be realized by 2030 anyway. It is bad to play ecological against social. And Green Party candidate Ulrike Baumgärtner’s call for council tax cuts eases the burden especially on the wealthy. “I don’t know what’s supposed to be green about that.”
Palmer himself wears a “holiday green” suit. He recently wore it in Lanz. “We are the city with the fastest growing economy and the fastest decreasing carbon emissions. If you think this is about me, vote for me.” Sixteen years was not enough to save the climate.
Long list of errors
The two competitors cannot dispute the track record. “Tübingen is doing well, but it’s time for a change,” says Geisel. “Citizens think they are not heard enough, there are many arguments.” Baumgärtner puts it even more drastically. Many in the city are afraid. “This has to stop.” To this end, she holds a torn election poster. “Less Rambo, more us,” he says. It was destroyed after a few hours. “It’s the Rambo style we don’t need anymore.”
This seems a little thick. However, it is true that Palmer’s provocative statements are getting on the nerves of many people. Apparently, Sandro Vidotto only appeared to remind Palmer of alleged or actual mistakes in his speech, which almost got him kicked out of the Greens, but got him an offer to join the AfD. The list ranges from the nonsense of 2018’s “human rights fundamentalism” to insults against footballer Dennis Aogo to his controversial statement during the corona pandemic: “Now we are saving people who would have died in six months anyway.” Tübingen has a responsibility. Palmer doesn’t choose, according to Vidotto. Many may be ambivalent about it. In the end, the speaker has the largest group of opponents in the room, but is also ahead when it comes to applause.