According to recent polls in Germany, Chancellor Merkel’s approval rating has dropped almost twenty points since the end of January to 37%.  As the magazine Stern puts it: “Merkel puts off voters.”  She is as unbeliebt as Mr. Bush, and she has dragged the CDU down from its weak September showing of 35% to a meager 31%.  She is still the preferred option for Chancellor over the SPD leader Kurt Beck, but she has obviously lost a great deal of ground–and her close association with Mr. Bush cannot have helped her.  My only question all along has been: why did the Union ever think that she was the suitable candidate to be Chancellor in the first place?