If you read through various German news sources over the weekend, Chancellor Merkel and her staff are reviewing various archive, interviews and video of Donald Trump....to figure out how to approach and influence him.
You would have thought that two months ago, this would have started up. Now doing this at the last minute prior to her trip to DC?
Part of this issue is that most of the German leadership out of Berlin don't see President Trump as an intellectual. With President Obama, it was different in that he was an intellectual (at least they hint that).
One of the odd features or perceptions that people generally have now is that Berlin (or the Bundestag membership) are now self-identifying as intellectuals. Being an intellectual.....often means that non-intellectuals aren't thinking or talking at your level. The two groups often can't communicate with each other.
Prior to the 1990s....I have my doubts that this issue existed, as the capital resided in Bonn....NOT Berlin.
If you've ever been to Bonn (population of 310,000)....you'd generally say that it's a pleasant town with some decent landscape, historic buildings, and a very limited intellectual 'umbrella'. As the Bundestag sat there.....folks tended to come in and do their business....and on weekends....go back home.
When this topic of moving the capital came up in 1991....it wasn't exactly a simple vote (338 to 320). A fair number of people felt that Berlin would have a significant cost factor, and that Bonn had certain pluses. The Kohl-government at the time was able to bundle up all the votes and ensure the move would occur.
What you end up with in Berlin is a major metropolitan city (3.5 million). Art, fashion, design, culture, culinary science, wine, literature and intellectualism are deeply tied into the city. When some Bundestag member wraps up his day....he can associate with intellectuals in his off-time, and sip coffee with doctor-so-and-so, or attend some cinema film from some 1960s Swedish director.
You end up with a lot of individuals who have intellectualized themselves into a corner.
What Chancellor Merkel and her staff will likely discover in the end? Trump talks business, numbers and statistics. Something is either working, or it's failing. Trump will likely bring up various business inner-workings that most intellectuals aren't aware of. Trump will talk taxes, and how companies (even German companies) cheat on taxes. Trump will talk about how people go and hide money, to avoid taxation. All of these things are typically concepts that intellectuals don't get heavily involved with or tend to easily grasp.
It'll be a remarkable meeting in the end. Trump and Merkel.