NJust a short performance by Peter Feldmann this evening. That alone does not suit this mayor at all, who in recent years has always been looking for the audience, the cameras. But this time: Feldmann can only be seen for a few minutes in the spacious hallway in front of his office, a few sentences, a petrified expression. Questions are not allowed, since he has already disappeared behind the thick door again.
There are reasons why he only expresses himself in dry words this time. But it also fits. In his curriculum vitae, which brought him further and further up to this point, Feldmann always sought publicity, missed no appointment, pushed his way into the picture. In his new life, which began with the referendum this Sunday, he will no longer be in the limelight. Still in the court process, which will now attract less attention. Definitely not after that.
“Defeats are not planned in his life”
It is the abrupt end of a career that ran in a straight line for a long time, until Feldmann began to underestimate and overestimate himself, becoming increasingly convinced of his own infallibility. The incidents that brought him before the district court could easily have been avoided with greater sensitivity. No one needs to talk their heads off if they absolutely have to talk to the passengers on an airplane. And it’s easy to take a step back when a football team drunk with victory arrives at the Römer. But success has gone to Peter Feldmann’s head and has grown over his head. How often had he won: When he first unexpectedly prevailed against an internal party competitor in 2012. Then, just as unexpectedly, he won against a well-known CDU politician to become mayor. When he was confirmed in office six years later with more than two-thirds of the votes. Two-thirds. No one he spoke to at City Hall could boast of such success.
Rumpelig was Feldmann’s first term because he couldn’t find the right place in the game of forces in Römer, but in the second of 2018 he finally said he no longer had to consider anything or anyone. Seasoned politicians in the town hall, who had already experienced a lot, drove his solo attempts to despair, but Feldmann, repeatedly drawn to populism, basked in his happiness at having been confirmed in office, and he was more and more concerned with himself . One might have thought that the distress he was put in by the prosecution investigation for taking advantage and then the upcoming trial would cause him to back down. But he still increased his stubbornness.
The incidents surrounding Eintracht’s European Cup victory already showed a completely overexcited mayor, but the devastating criticism of these incidents did not bring him to his senses either, on the contrary. Most recently, contrary to the resolutions of the city council, he spoke up for a speedy city partnership with Kyiv. In a speech to Binding employees, he pulled the idea of a city participation in it out of a hat without any feedback from the city councilors and the owner of the brewery that was about to be closed, and In the same week he unnecessarily explained his married life to the court, including the confession that he had wanted his daughter to have an abortion at the time.
He must always have believed, even if the politicians criticized him in Romans, that the citizens would understand him, he carried it before him, that he knew what made people tick, that he was closer to them and their everyday life than, for example, his predecessor, they credited him with alleged or actual successes, especially his involvement in social policy.
Intercepted by a circle of trade unionists
In truth, he was becoming more and more distant from the people, and even if probably not every citizen was able to say in detail what had happened, the impression was that enough was enough. Feldmann will not have understood that until the end; Defeats are not planned in his life, at least not in his political life.
Now the voters have left him out. Unexpectedly, because even if it became apparent in the days leading up to the referendum that interest in it was high, the mayor had some justification for hoping that the 30 percent quorum of dissenting votes would be missed and that he would be voted out by the majority of voters would, but not of a sufficient number. But now Feldmann will only be mayor until Friday, when the official election results are to be announced, and there is nothing to suggest that they will differ significantly from the provisional results published on Sunday evening. Then he is left with nothing politically and no less socially.
It may be that he will be caught by a circle of trade unionists, perhaps by a few scattered Social Democrats. Peter Feldmann is no longer an option for the positions in which retirees in Frankfurt would otherwise continue to participate in social life, such as on the boards of trustees and advisory boards of respected foundations or other associations. He missed the time of an honorable departure, which would have been possible, also without necessity. There would have been plenty of opportunities for that. Anyone who puts everything on one card can win or lose. Who loses, falls deep.