The World: Rise of an American-Style Politician

Shortly after the Social Democratic Party suffered a serious setback in a Hamburg state by-election last March, Helmut Schmidt, 55, went on television and bluntly accused his boss, Willy Brandt, of weak leadership and laxity. That kind of pugnacity long ago earned West Germany's new Chancellor-nominate the nickname "Schmidt-Schnauze" (Schmidt the Lip). Friends and enemies alike describe him as an "American-style" politician, in reference to his rough-and-tumble skill as an infighter. Certainly no one has ever accused him of indecision or timidity— or of hiding his ambition to take over...

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