This got brought up today by ARD (public German TV, Channel One). They always want to harp on a anti-Putin story.
For 4.5 hours, Putin did a live question and answer show. One can admit....he had most of the questions at least a week ahead of time, but the fact that he had the strength and stamina to just go on and on, and on....is somewhat of a feat.
The odds that the Chancellor could do a 4.5 hour episode? Don't even go and suggest this. For Chancellor Merkel....just to go and do a one-hour episode is a challenge.
Here's the thing. People want someone who will answer their questions....whether it's made-up or not. They want a guy who looks cool as he gives an answer. They want leadership.
When you lay out this term 'merkling', which in German means you as the authority figure...aren't capable of making decisions....Putin simply doesn't fit that mold. Putin is fully capable of making decisions....even bad ones. People like that.
I won't say it's refreshing or such....but it's an image that the public desires.