Politicians need to get serious about the steady drip of scandals.
The centre-left has had a torrid year, particularly in Europe, but there are glimmers of hope on the horizon and hope for it to regroup.
Follow the money to see if Angela Merkel is on course for a fourth term as chancellor after the September vote.
Looking like a centrist, but governing as a conservative, Angela Merkel has cleared the decks before the coming German election.
The chancellor is hoping to play it safe ahead of September's vote – and that means skirting around certain topics.