Edward Kennedy once said that like mathematics, politics is like "anything that isn't quite right is wrong". Is it wrong that Nancy Faeser, as acting federal minister, also wants to stand as the top candidate in a state election and only wants to give up the federal office in the event of an election victory?
One should remember Norbert Röttgen, who as Federal Environment Minister in the Merkel II cabinet made the CDU top candidate in the North Rhine-Westphalia elections and - like Faeser now - kept all options open. In the end he lost both: NRW and his ministerial post.
Röttgen was called “mum's smartest”, but he still made a stupid decision at the time. Now, to keep with the language used, Nancy Faeser in the Scholz cabinet is not necessarily one of the "dad's best", which in turn raises the question: is she really an asset as the top candidate for the SPD, which is well behind the CDU in Hesse?
And how convincingly Faeser can embody the social-democratic will to win when she doesn't seem to be completely convinced of victory herself - because her retention of the office of federal minister is to be understood as a precautionary measure in her own interest.
There are many in the SPD who would have wished for a clear decision from Faeser. The fact that she is not asked to do so is less due to her qualities as a minister than to Olaf Scholz's promise of parity: there should be at least as many women as men in his cabinet.
After he lost Christine Lambrecht, another female departure would be a problem at this point in time. Here, too, it's like mathematics: if a promise isn't quite right, then something wrong comes out of it.