Klaus Wowereit, is the mayor of Berlin....at least until the disclosure today that he will resign in the near future. For the German news, it's likely to be the most talked about event of the day and likely to carry over into the weekend.
As mayors go in Germany....Wowereit is about the only mayor in the country who is nationally known. If you throw up a picture of the guy....probably seventy percent of the German public would recognize the guy and identify him.
His politics? SPD.
He's been the mayor of Berlin since the October 2001 election, putting him at roughly thirteen years in the position. Around the city of Berlin.....the sixty-year old guy is respected and generally liked.
What most were figuring five years ago, was that he was in a great position to move up and be a national candidate for chancellor (for the SPD party). That didn't happen. Part of the dilemma is that the Berlin Airport mess has touched his involvement in the construction situation. While not the project manager.....he just kept grinning at photo opportunities and kept talking about the soon-to-open airport (it'll be a minimum of five years after the original completion date that it will open, and might even go to ten years).
The selling point of Wowereit? He was openly gay. News journalists wanted to always bring this up....whenever his name got tossed around in topic discussions. Beyond that, no one can really talk up volumes over his accomplishments....other than thirteen years as Berlin's mayor and always a favored political figure in debates. He generally took clear positions, and didn't antagonize anyone within his party or the general public sentiment.
Where does he go? I'm guessing that he'll write a book or two.
It's an odd deal.....if he'd been the mayor of any other major city in Germany, and never been connected to the Berlin Airport issues.....he'd likely have ran as the SPD candidate against Merkel in 2013. Opportunities in life come and go.....sometimes, you reach a monumental point in your career....yet have a hefty anchor holding you down that you aren't really responsible for. This is the problem that Wowereit had and can't escape. (photo: Welt).