Wolfgang kubicki has often driven his party leadership up the wall with provocations and allegiances. Those who thought well of the liberal from kiel called him a "querdenker," others a "querulant" – even nastier titles were circulated. Now, in his new role as the top candidate of the northern FDP, the 61-year-old, who has often made headlines, wants to move from the fringes of the political scene to its heart.
"After 21 years in the state parliament, it’s not only the increase in importance in the bundestag that excites me", says the talk show regular just three weeks before the election. He will most likely be able to talk professionally to more people in berlin than in kiel. His wife had also accepted that at the end of his political career he would once again throw everything into the balance "in order to maintain and increase the importance of the FDP".
So far, however, kubicki has never lasted very long in the bundestag. After all, he had already entered the bundestag in 1990 and 2002 via the state list – and had given up his mandate prematurely both times: the first time in 1992, after he had been elected to the kiel state parliament, the second time in 2002 after only two months, in order to concentrate on state politics again.
In 2009, kubicki led the state party back into government after decades with a top result of 14.9 percent. He takes credit for the fact that, together with then CDU prime minister peter harry carstensen, he succeeded in steering the heavily indebted country onto a course of consolidation. But he cites the 8.2 percent of 2012 as his greatest success, because the FDP was in the doldrums nationwide at the time.
About his future role, the sharp-tongued fast talker says: "in domestic and legal policy, I would like to be the image, along with sabine leutheusser-schnarrenberger and a few others of the FDP pragen." The lawyer is also pushing it into the budget committee. "I want to make sure that the taxpayers’ money is used wisely."
He does not aspire to a post. "I don’t have to become anything to make a difference." Otherwise, he follows the indian wisdom: "don’t worry about what you’re doing on the other side of the shore before you know how you’re getting there". But the lawyer with a law firm in kiel emphasizes one thing: "I rule out joining a cabinet for myself. I won’t give up my professional independence, because it allows me to say things that others think are damaging to my career or threaten my political existence."
It’s simply time for a change, says kubicki. He already belongs to the inventory at the forde. "Nevertheless, it is an exciting challenge at my age to appear in the bundestag and to leave my mark there." That it will be enough for black-yellow again is beyond doubt for him.
Kubicki sees his standing in berlin as much better than it used to be, and the initial awkwardness has given way to trusting cooperation. "They appreciate that I obviously have a gift for convincing people." After all, kubicki was elected to the FDP presidium against two incumbent federal ministers – dirk niebel and daniel bahr. "This was a kind of culture shock for both of them." After the death of his friend jurgen mollemann (2003), he became much milder, says kubicki. "I’ve also noticed that the friendlier the packaging, the more effective vulgarities are."
Kubicki will leave behind mixed feelings in kiel. At the end of november, he wanted to give a farewell speech in the state parliament. Without him, it will be more anemic, many say. SPD faction leader ralf stegner on the question of whether he sees his "favorite opponent" in kubicki i will miss him: "in the sense that he is an entertaining colleague with whom to deal is also a certain sporting competition, yes."
The green environment minister is less than flattering in his assessment. "He made many debates louder, some funnier, some more embarrassing; he hardly ever got us anywhere on the substance of things.", says robert habeck. A loudspeaker is going. "Perhaps this will help to restore sanity. Go with my good wishes, wolfgang – and tschuss!"
Kubicki now sees himself prepared for the temptations of the metropolis. Years ago he said that in berlin he would run the risk of becoming a drunkard or a whoremonger. "In the meantime, I have become morally and ethically stable." Dpa