The recent revelations that the USA spied on many of its allies may have an impact on the upcoming German election. Chancellor Merkel has closely aligned herself with President Obama and many of his foreign policy positions. At one time, the President was the most popular person in Germany, and Frau Merkel’s close association with him was a political plus. No longer. The German love affair with the President has faded.

Shortly after the USA spy program became public, Regierungssprecher (Government spokesman) Steffen Seibert stated, “Wir sind nicht mehr im Kalten Krieg.” (“We are no longer in the Cold War.”) He expressed, what many in Germany were beginning to think: The United States is again imposing its might on the rest of the world. 

Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Syria, and now the NSA leaks have all dented the President’s image. In the German capital, there are weekly demonstrations against the USA, and there’s a general feeling of sympathy for the plight of Edward Snowden. Up till now, the opposition has tried to make this a major election issue but without much success. Frau Merkel is still relatively popular, but popularity can wane. Just look at what happened to President Obama.