The Mouse that Roared

JAN BAUER / AP PHOTO

IRON LADY: Merkel could be the first woman to run Germany

During a swimming class, when Angela Merkel was about 12, she stood at the end of the diving board for around 45 minutes before summoning up enough courage to jump in the pool. "I am courageous at the right moment," she told a journalist a few years ago. "But I need considerable start-up time, and I try to think ahead as much as possible. I am not spontaneously courageous." At school, none of her classmates or teachers ever saw her as leadership material. But now Merkel, once derided as dull and mousy, stands a good chance of becoming Germany's first female...

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