Germany -- Chancellor Angela Merkel is worried about Donald Trump. She doesn't know how to read him and worries that unlike her, he might be less hospitable toward Muslim immigrants and also be tough on trade with Germany and the rest of the world.
So Merkel is pouring over videos and old interviews of President Trump trying to discover ways to woo him when they first meet.
Trump is no Bill Clinton, so sexual favors are off the table.
Merkel is in the process of getting ready to run her own campaign for a fourth term in the fall election. She is already using Trump as a foil but that may be her downfall if not for her ultra-liberal immigration stance on Islamic immigration. Germans are upset with her and once they fully realize that she's taking in very few oppressed Christians, they may actually elect someone more Trump-like. Who knows?
The Berlin chancellery has reached out to the Trump transition team to suggest an early meeting, which would give her the opportunity to discuss and hopefully for her, counter his negative views on the European Union, free trade and NATO, said one government official.
No date has been given for the first meeting as yet, but for Merkel, it cannot come soon enough.
Merkel, a physicist by training, uses a coalition-building approach. Trump, a real estate tycoon by inheritance, uses a Twitter tweeting diplomacy approach.
Merkel's message to President Trump will need to be that the EU is "strategic interest for Germany" and the Trump administration's efforts to weaken it would translate that "you're treading on our lawn," Thomas Bagger, the head of policy planning at the German Foreign Ministry said in Berlin on Thursday. "I think that's the only message he'll get and the only message he'll listen to."
Barack Obama praised Merkel's "strong, courageous and steady leadership" in a phone call Thursday. (One wonders if he promised her the call wasn't being bugged by the NSA.)
The relationship with Donald Trump is likely to be more contentious, but a lot more honest with a world leader as the newly sworn-in president called the German Chancellor's open borders for refugees a "very catastrophic mistake" and cast doubt on the efficacy of NATO and the EU.
If President Trump doesn't host Merkel at the White House, they will probably meet at the G7 summit in Italy in May or at the G20 hosted by her in Hamburg in July.
While Merkel offered cooperation with Trump on their shared country's values of "democracy, freedom, respect for the rule of law and the dignity of humankind," she has been publicly silent on her thoughts and attitude about him.
On the other hand, Merkel's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the next German president, was highly critical of Trump during the U.S. campaign and once called him a
Saying that he is going to put our own country first and that we all bleed the same color is not a very good example of hate.