“Sitting out“

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl was often innaccurately portrayed as the master of Aussitzen (sitting out) by journalists and political elites alike. Instead of approaching a problem directly, it was said that he would wait until it would either resolve itself or people would lose interest in it.

But even with Kohl’s retirement from politics,“sitting out“ political issues supposedly has not gone out of style. At least according to Stern maganzine, which claims that Angela Merkel has become the new representative of this style of governing. As Wochenmagazin wrote in March 2010: “Angela Kohl – wait it out, weigh it out, sit it out. Chancellor Merkel reveals herself ever more strongly to be an adept pupil of the greatest sitter-outer Helmut Kohl”.

More accurate is that Kohl was and Merkel is a master of thinking things through, patience, and building consensus.