The Washington Post

Angela Merkel: from Bush to beer

Let’s stop talking about Michigan for a moment and talk about Merkel. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor. What is it about her back that warrants so much unwanted attention?

At the 2006 G-8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, then-President George W. Bush gave the German Chancellor an impromptu back rub seen around the world. Here it is in case you’ve never seen it. And if you haven’t, where on earth have you been?!  

The hunched shoulders. The discomfort. The “don’t touch me” flail of the arms to knock off Bush’s two hands. An Associated Press story at the time, noted that many thought Bush’s laying of hands on Merkel was sexist. It quoted blogger Christy Hardin Smith who wrote on, “This isn’t a Sigma Chi kegger, it’s the G-8 Summit.”

No, it wasn’t. But at an event yesterday in Germany for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, the long-serving chancellor certainly left smelling like she’d been at a kegger. Take a look at what happened when a waiter tried to serve her a beer.

Again, the hunched shoulders. The discomfort. But this time there was the forced “everything’s normal here, carry on” demeanor after four tall glasses worth of beer washed over her back.  The waiter reportedly said, “I was shoved from behind, and tried to catch the beers, but it was too late.”

Um, yeah.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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