Yasssss Mom!!!!!!! Merkel kween!

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On Thursday, Time announced it had named German Chancellor Angela Merkel its person of the year for her leadership amidst both the Syrian refugee crisis and the crisis of the Euro. Her progress in the latter area came so slowly and resolutely that Germans coined the word “merkeling.”

Merkel is, notably, the first woman to be given the over-hyped distinction since 1986, when Philippines president Corazon C. Aquino was honored, unless you are counting 2006’s cheeky decision to name “You” as the Person of the Year. In fact, since the tradition was started in 1927 (almost 90 years) only three other women have been honored: Elizabeth II, Wallis Simpson, and the American Woman, whatever the hell that means.

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Merkel, who has been chancellor since 2005 with no challenger to speak of (she wasn’t even on the last ballot, but was elected anyway), has attributed her own patience and resilience to growing up East Germany:

“You know I grew up in the GDR,” she said at a conference in Munich at which she discussed whether Russia should put military or economic pressure on Ukraine. “As a 7-year-old child, I saw the Wall being erected. No one—although it was a stark violation of international law—believed at the time that one ought to intervene militarily in order to protect citizens of of the GDR and whole Eastern bloc of the consequences of that, namely to live in lack of freedom for many, many, years. And I don’t actually mind. Because I understand this, because it was a realistic assessment that this would not lead to success.”

According to a New Yorker profile of Merkel (that noted that a classmate had referred to her as a member of the “Club of the Unkissed,” which, okay, fuck off), she speaks fluent Russian, performs imitations of other world leaders, and hates dogs. In 2007, Putin brought a dog into a meeting to frighten her. She also once cancelled a meeting with Putin because he was late.

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“I understand why he has to do this—to prove he’s a man,” she reportedly said of the dog move. “He’s afraid of his own weakness. Russia has nothing, no successful politics or economy. All they have is this.”


Contact the author at joanna@jezebel.com.

Image via Getty.