WEST GERMANY: The Politics of Success

Cool and steady, Schmidt parries Strauss's brawny assault

With his bulldog shape and brawling style, Franz Josef Strauss was not about to win the West German national election on looks and charisma. Throughout, he had searched for an issue to stir the electorate, something to pinprick the lofty image of his telegenic opponent, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. But every time Strauss attacked, Schmidt parried, mostly by reminding voters that West had never been so prosperous or so world affairs. "I sympathize with Strauss," said a Düsseldorf banker. "He has been in the impossible...

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