If Peter Sellers were still around, he could play the President to perfection, as a politician who is all at once cunning, witty, naive and triumphant.
Ministers must grasp that this new one will be even more disposed to conduct its foreign policy through the EU.
Political popularity appears to be broad and sustained but, when eventually it is exhausted, the falling away of support is dramatic.
Putin’s Russia is closer to home – remember the Salisbury attack – and Islamist extremism is already here.
It is worth noting the lack of a German, and therefore European, consensus on the foreign policy challenges facing the West, particularly on Russia and China.
‘Sleepy Joe’ has sleep-walked the United States into its biggest foreign policy debacle for a generation.
The most important task is the resolution of the constitutional crisis and a return to the normal democratic process.
The front-runner to succeed Merkel has perfected the art of making not having a row, indeed not making a decision, sound reasonable.
It may gradually slide down the road to a more neutralist position in the years ahead – to paraphrase William Hague “In NATO, but not run by NATO.”
“We do have a challenge…it is to respond to the new political configuration here without falling into the trap of statism.”
Merkel’s sixteen years are marked by high poll ratings but few concrete achievements, and a discreditable closeness to dictators.
Splashing taxpayers’ cash is the President’s only reliable option. The Prime Minister has other tools at his disposal.
A traffic light coalition? A Jamaica coalition? Who knows? What’s certain is that the CDU/CSU is struggling amidst a fragmenting landscape.
The suspension of the vaccine will lead to more problems in areas that are already struggling with their roll outs.
Some leaders realise the seriousness of the problem. Merkel’s spokesman has pleaded with Germans to take the “safe and highly effective” jab.