Tomorrow marks Angela Merkel’s 4,748th day as German chancellor – that’s 13 years. It’s been a remarkable run for Germany’s first female chancellor, one who led Europe’s greatest power through the global financial crisis, the European sovereign debt crisis and the refugee crisis. For nearly half that time, German pundits have been predicting “Merkeldämmerung,” Merkel’s twilight. Finally, it has arrived. In late October, amid historically low approval ratings for her Christian Democratic Union party, Merkel announced that she would not seek the position of party chief again. The CDU will vote on her replacement in just over two weeks. The winner of that race will be the favorite to replace Merkel as chancellor in 2021 – if her government makes it that far.
The Chancellor’s Legacy
Merkel will hardly be remembered for leading Germany out of its difficult post-reunification years and into a time of great prosperity, though she did. (In August 2018 unemployment