Former FDP party chief and German foreign minister....Guido Westerwelle has passed today....from Leukemia.
There's roughly an eight-year period where he was a major player within his party and got routinely mentioned in German news.
The moment where I reached an admiration for the guy....came after the 2005 German election, during the famous Elefantenrund (the Elephant-round). The SPD had lost in the election.....a bare margin....and their chief (Schroeder) was talking up this idea that the CDU would not be able to form a coalition....but he (Schroeder) could.
They turned to the FDP chief (Westerwelle) and he delivered this brief one-minute commentary, which I would refer to as the 'cold-day-in-hell' speech....where he said his party would not partner with Schroeder.
There were probably eight million Germans watching this prime-time talk and the bulk of them went nuts for Westerwelle.
If you bring up Westerwelle's name with most Germans.....they will recite this short speech on the Elefantenrund and how pumped up they got at that point.