Out as defense minister: "One of the strangest political figures": This is how the press commented on Lambrecht's resignation

It no longer came as a surprise: After only 13 months in office and almost as long criticism, Christine Lambrecht resigned as Federal Defense Minister.

Out as defense minister: "One of the strangest political figures": This is how the press commented on Lambrecht's resignation

It no longer came as a surprise: After only 13 months in office and almost as long criticism, Christine Lambrecht resigned as Federal Defense Minister. On Monday morning, the SPD politician announced that she had asked Chancellor Olaf Scholz to be dismissed. Critics had accused her of slow procurement for the Bundeswehr or a lack of expertise, but Lambrecht's public appearance also caused a shake of the head. A photo of her son traveling in a Bundeswehr helicopter made negative headlines. She recently caused irritation with a New Year's message spread on Instagram, in which she spoke about the Ukraine war accompanied by New Year's Eve fireworks.

The question of who will succeed Lambrecht is still unanswered. However, Scholz said: "I have a clear idea and it will become known very quickly to everyone how this should continue." The women in the SPD insist on gender parity in the traffic light government. In the cabinet, eight ministerial posts are currently occupied by women and eight by men. Added to this is Chancellor Scholz.

"Berliner Zeitung": Lambrecht regularly sent out statements in which mosquitoes became elephants. Most of the time, these little things were announced in a grand manner. No matter how disastrous the situation could be, Lambrecht still found good words for what she announced - no matter how small. In this context, the helmets instead of heavy weapons for Ukraine are unforgettable - an international joke. The broken-down Bundeswehr comforted her with protective vests. Anyone who appears like this for a whole year shouldn't be surprised if he or she gets malicious headlines. Lambrecht's parallel world was then garnished with strange appearances. The minister's son in the Bundeswehr plane, the visit to the troops in Mali in heels and finally a euphoric New Year's Eve video in front of a banging backdrop, while live fire was being fired at in Ukraine and rescue workers in Berlin were fired with blank guns. The minister showed no sense of appropriate demeanour.

"Allgemeine Zeitung" (Mainz): There is not a word in your statement about possible mistakes and omissions. Instead, she cites the media focus on her person as the top and most important reason. With all due respect - that's outrageous. With her demonstrative disinterest in the office at the beginning - actually she would have preferred to become Minister of the Interior - and numerous political and PR mishaps since then, she has given "the media" no other option than to report very critically about her person. The highlight and end of all the mishaps is their embarrassing New Year's Eve video. In doing so, she disgraced herself, her office and the country internationally. She can't blame the media for that, she has to blame herself alone.

"Reutlinger General-Anzeiger": Of course, the defense department is a shark tank. In addition, it was never the favorite department of the former justice minister. But Lambrecht could have simply turned down the ministerial post and resigned from federal politics, as originally announced. Instead, the will to power prevailed. Now it's to be hoped that someone who really cares about the troops will move into the Department of Defense.

"Augsburger Allgemeine": Of course, she couldn't bring the ailing army into shape within a year, but under her command there were no signs of improvement. Scholz should therefore have recalled her earlier. In fact, he had already half-disempowered her. He makes his own decisions about the delivery of weapons, and he entrusts the procurement of ammunition to the Chancellery. Half the leadership is not enough for a turning point.

"Südwest-Presse" (Ulm): A liberation that drags on for days is not one. Therefore, the chance for Chancellor Olaf Scholz to get back on the offensive through the resignation of Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has already been missed. In the best-case scenario, he now manages to make people forget the misery of the past few weeks with a convincing and possibly even surprising personality.

"Weser-Kurier" (Bremen): Nevertheless, the Lambrecht year was just another episode in the series of less gifted to incompetent holders of command and command over the Bundeswehr. Lambrecht's predecessors didn't cover themselves with fame any more than a number of male incumbents: Strauss, Scholz, Scharping, Jung... Among the 19 federal ministers of defense to date, there is hardly a handful who can attest to having done a good job. Which is certainly due to the challenges. It's about running a massive, highly complex organization with an enormous budget - that you hope you'll never have to use for its very own purpose. Nevertheless, both their relatives and the surrounding civilian population, who are largely weaned from anything military, must always be convinced that this apparatus is necessary.

"Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung": In general, Lambrecht is one of the strangest political figures on the Berlin stage. She is not the only one who has an undisguised desire for pleasure there. But staging helicopter flights to Sylt, social media postings and a generally lavish lifestyle in this way was unwise. The fact that she was believed to have a passion for shopping rather than military technology and the structures of the Bundeswehr did not contribute to her popularity across the board. At the same time, it is another example of social democrats who, through honest but ultimately clumsy frankness, failed to win the favor of the Berlin bubble.

"Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung" (Heidelberg): Like in hardly any other ministry, the employees are trying to prove that the boss is incompetent. It is the mammoth authority itself with its overly bureaucratic procurement system and its resistance to normal management guidelines. In this regard, Christine Lambrecht is also right: She did the job no worse than most of her predecessors. But she herself is responsible for her poor performance, which resulted in an amateurish and basically cynical New Year's Eve video. With her amateurish performances, she makes it easier for her successor to make his debut. However, one should not be so naïve and believe that the Bundeswehr would only be ready for a real turning point through a change in personnel.

"Badische Zeitung" (Freiburg): Your successor - or your successor, provided that the chancellor overcomes his proportional error - will only have a chance of success if Scholz gives the new man or woman legroom on the one hand and, on the other hand, moves forward more energetically than before : Strengthening the Bundeswehr's ability to defend itself must not be limited to a strong speech. Germany is urgently expected to play an active role, not least in the Western alliance.

"Pforzheimer Zeitung": The job is already an impertinence in normal times. But now, with the Russian war in Ukraine, it takes a lot of persuasion to get someone to take the job. That's also why it's good that Scholz let it leak out that he would forego parity. On the one hand, it can't be about gender issues now, but only about competence. On the other hand, it is still conceivable that a woman will call the shots for the fourth time in a row: With Eva Högl and Siemtje Möller, two SPD politicians are considered to have profound knowledge of the Bundeswehr. Should it be one of the two, she would no longer have to deal with the prejudice of only making a career because of the quota. For that reason alone, breaking parity was a smart move. Unfortunately, there have not been many of these around the Ministry of Defense in recent months.

"Rheinpfalz" (Ludwigshafen): Party tactics or other irrelevant considerations must not play a role in Lambrecht's successor. That would damage the trust of the servicemen and women in their successors from the outset. Comprehensive previous knowledge of the Bundeswehr would also be important in order to gain the confidence of the troops. In addition, there is simply not enough time for someone to familiarize themselves with it from the ground up.

"Handelsblatt" (Düsseldorf): For Lambrecht, one thing above all was decisive for her resignation: she had no idea about the military and never found contact with the soldiers. In the Ukraine war with all its upheavals, she seemed driven. The resignation was overdue. Even if Lambrecht leaves - the problems remain. She or he must fill the "turning point" proclaimed by Chancellor Scholz with life, reform the Bundeswehr and, above all, build trust again. What does it take? Whoever steps up to the head of the Bundeswehr should first of all dare to form their own opinion. "Owd - Olaf wants that", with this abbreviation Scholz once ruled as mayor in Hamburg and probably also in the chancellery. There must be agreements between the defense department and the chancellery. But the abbreviation "Owd" should be a thing of the past.

"Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung": Christine Lambrecht made the best decision at the end. After a little over a year at the helm of the Defense Ministry, she too has realized what many of her subordinates, and not just them, have long known: that she is the wrong person for this office and the office is the wrong one for her. (...) Especially if it's true that Lambrecht had been thinking about resigning for some time, it's difficult to understand why the chancellor and his party have needed days since the Berliner Spatzen first whistle to arrange the successor. (...) Rather, it seemed difficult to find a person who would meet all of the chancellor's criteria, apparently including continued gender parity in the cabinet. Scholz himself is also under pressure: he cannot afford a second mistake.

"Heilbronner Voice": Now at the latest it has become clear that one or the other ministerial office would definitely benefit from specialist knowledge. Party representation or gender issues should no longer play a role in such cases. One can perhaps allow oneself this luxury in largely insignificant government offices. But not where experts are crucial. And that's exactly what the Ministry of Defense is asking for now. Appointing a non-partisan expert who has actually seen the inside of a barracks in front of his ministerial office would therefore send the right signal. But one that those responsible for government lack the courage to do.

"Westfälische Nachrichten" (Münster): In recent years, the Bundeswehr has had to endure a number of defense ministers who were unsuccessful. The last ideal cast was Peter Struck. The Social Democrat left office in 2005. The result of the subsequent miscasting is a troupe that lacks pretty much everything. In peacetime, this did not bother anyone. Things have changed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Against this background, the criticism of Lambrecht also applies to the Federal Chancellor: Olaf Scholz has let his hapless minister dabble in office for far too long. The turning point he proclaimed aptly describes the security situation in Europe that Putin radically changed. The real scandal in this inglorious cabinet piece is that the chancellor held on to his unsuitable party friend for far too long.

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