World leaders and political commentators rushed to share the news of Angela Merkel’s re-election as German chancellor with the world on Sunday night, celebrating what they regarded as a victory for the nation over its politics. But for Ms. Merkel, the final result was anything but a victory over that of her own party and among her voters.
Mr. Trump tweeted a few words, as well as a photo of him, standing alongside Ms. Merkel and next to Canada’s Justin Trudeau. The selfie, however, ended up gaining less attention than the fact that it left out Angela Merkel.
People have been asking why I didn’t congratulate the victor in Germany — why not? Because there is only one true Chancellor of Germany! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 24, 2018
In fact, more attention was focused on the less than diplomatic banter that took place on the stage after the outcome of the election, which saw Mr. Macron comment on “falling down on your face” during an exchange of greetings with Ms. Merkel. Not his favourite way to communicate.
The exchanges between Germany and France have soured in recent months with Mr. Macron presenting an increasingly hostile environment for Ms. Merkel.
Yet Ms. Merkel’s party still retains a strong presence in the chamber, and on Monday declared that the country was finally entering the long Easter weekend, sipping Champagne.
Post-election Mr. Macron acknowledged her near record-low approval ratings with a reminder that she was still Germany’s chancellor — “Merkel, governing Germany” — but one that was defined by the most serious challenge to its leader in many years.