Election Eve in Berlin
8:40 PM, Sep 26, 2009 • By VICTORINO MATUS
The crowd was shouting "Angie! Angie!" (though with those German accents it's more like "En-jee! En-jee!"). They were eager to catch a glimpse of their leader one last time. Everything is on the line. And they're chatting about the weather? (Merkel came out to the Stones song "Start Me Up" -- You make a grown man cry -- as opposed to "Angie" -- Angie, you're beautiful, but ain't it time we said goodbye?)
This was followed by a musical act: A tall, blonde German woman in her late 40s, clad in tight leather pants and not much else, showing both muscle and sag (trust me, she was quite a sight), who sang "Superfrau" (Superwoman).
But then Merkel took the stage again, delivered a more powerful address, and advocated for a CDU/FDP (black/yellow) coaltion. She didn't yell -- not her style -- but she was firm when she made her case. Merkel can also switch modes and give the crowd a disarming smile. Of the three rallies I attended, this was the only one that ended with the German national anthem.
Everyone is saying this election is too close to call. But for what it's worth, my guess is:
CDU/CSU: 33 percent