Germany’s national election is only days away as voters set out to determine who the next leader of the country will be on Sunday September 24th. Chancellor Angela Merkel appears to be ready to sweep the election to earn herself a historic fourth term according to polls, but as we have learned from the recent American election, the polls can’t always be trusted. That is why some in her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party are taking no chances and have enlisted the help of former U.S. President Obama, or at least his image, to give the campaign an extra boost in its final days.
During his final overseas trip as president, Obama made a stop in Germany where he stood side by side with Merkel to endorse her reelection bid. “If I were German and I had a vote, I’d support her.” the former president proclaimed. “I don’t know if that helps or hurts.” For CDU activist Tom Cywinski, the endorsement is seen as being helpful, which is why he set out to remind German voters with a poster that borrows its design from the famous “Hope” poster used during Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Instead of the iconic red, white and blue coloring from the original, Cywinksi transformed it to reflect Germany’s black, red and gold national colors and included the endorsing quote: “Wenn ich könnte, würde ich Merkel wählen.”
While there is no way to really tell how much of an impact Obama’s face will have on Merkel’s vote count, it’s hard to argue that it will do any substantial damage. Despite his drop in popularity since taking office to the time he left eight years later, Obama still had an impressive 86-percent approval rating among Germans — compared to President Donald Trump’s current 11-percent — and Cywinksi believes that if younger Germans are reminded of this, they will be moved to vote for Merkel over her opponents.