People don’t want to go on like this, they want a change, that’s why the CDU-CSU is 440 000 votes ahead of the red-greens. However, the fear of changing was too strong and that’s why a larger number than what was expected voted for the left. The red-greens along with the PDS are heading the Union, plus the FDP, but people wanted a moderate change. The SPD succeeded in frightening the worst paid people.
Angela Merkel fought a compromising battle; she is the leader of the strongest faction of Parliament and her duty is to form a government and become chancellor.
We’ll have discussions with all parties but the Linkspartei. We’ll begin with the FDP, the next one will be the SPD and the last one will be the Greens. In the interest of our country, we must clearly show that the electoral campaign is over and we’re going to humbly accept the result. We must be efficient with regard to the reform of the taxation system. This is a sign people expect from us abroad too. Everything is possible in Germany but wasting time.
I won’t be a candidate in the next presidential elections. First of all, because the chancellor in power now will be a candidate in 2009. Besides, my place is in Hanover, I want to be there as prime minister for a long time.

Die Welt (Germany)

Wir haben die Mehrheit der Bürger nicht mitgenommen" by Christian Wulff, Die Welt, September 20, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.