EThe accusation that has been read or heard quite often recently, in conversations, in social networks and in newspaper articles, is: Saskia Esken is hiding. The SPD chairwoman shied away from the campaign stages and talk shows so as not to alienate bourgeois party supporters. Esken is pursuing a very specific goal with her reluctance: She does not want to endanger the success of Olaf Scholz, who is currently swimming on a wave of popularity that his opponents can only dream of. In the end, however, it is said that those who vote for the SPD because of Olaf Scholz will wake up with Saskia Esken and Kevin Kühnert. And with a left alliance, a red-green-red coalition.
On Thursday evening, in the Frankfurt house by the cathedral, the SPD leader countered this accusation that she had recently kept her convictions under lock and key. At her side: Janine Wissler, the Frankfurt-born chairwoman of the Left and top candidate of her party in the federal election, and Wolfgang Strengmann-Kuhn, green social politician and member of the Bundestag. A red-green-red twilight, then? Not quite. Because although the evening was supposed to show how close the parties are in their positions, it did not bring about an overly clear commitment to the left-wing alliance. Even if many in the audience would have wished that.