The former Chancellor refused to attend her own party’s federal party conference. She prefers to praise the old green Jürgen Trittin. He cuddles back at “Maischberger” in the first: “We laughed a lot!” The viewer learns: A lot has changed – and the voter has little to laugh about.

Wednesday night, midnight. It’s the time for confessions: Yes, I voted for the Greens. I was young and I needed the future. The Green Party of today no longer has anything to do with the Green Behind the Ears Party of yesteryear. As the old green and green old man Jürgen Trittin says: “I think the Greens of my generation have changed this republic significantly. And in the process we have changed too.”

Let’s be clear: yesterday’s rule-breakers have become today’s chief regulators. At “Maischberger” even CSU woman Ilse Aigner and SPD general secretary Lars Klingbeil, alongside Jürgen Trittin, manage to stand for a new beginning.

Jürgen Trittin was once supposed to say something positive about then-Chancellor Angela Merkel. And what came to his mind? It was absolutely vicious: “I think it’s good that someone is so dishonest,” the 69-year-old once replied. And today? He invites Merkel to be a keynote speaker at his farewell from the Green Party. And the long-serving Chancellor, who for so many represents so much stagnation in politics, is actually coming – she is coming to the Green Party, she is not coming to the CDU party conference, she is not coming to her successor Friedrich Merz.

Was it worth? “We laughed a lot,” said Trittin, emphasizing how well he got along with Angela Merkel. At least the former environment minister seems to be serious about leaving politics: “I don’t want to become the Lothar Matthäus of politics…”

“Perhaps Angela Merkel will become a Green in her old age?” ponders former newswoman Petra Gerster on “Maischberger”. The reversal is more likely: the Greens have become the new conservatives. It’s a wonderful way for black and green to laugh together.

On the other hand, the CSU president in the Bavarian state parliament remains admirably serious. Ilse Aigner is asked about the price that her Prime Minister is paying for his support of the prospective candidate for chancellor Friedrich Merz. In return, could Söder become Federal President, i.e. the first man in the state? “I have already taken part in seven presidential elections,” the 59-year-old answers. And she adds: “Markus Söder can do anything.”

Moderator Maischberger asks whether she is serious. “Of course,” replies Ilse Aigner. And she manages to remain absolutely serious when asked about the state-supporting role of the talented populist Söder: “Of course.”

While the old green candidate Trittin is once again celebrating Germany’s exit from nuclear energy, CSU woman Aigner is cozying up to an SPD position. Minimum wage? “There will have to be a change. The costs have increased.” There is also closeness when it comes to the obligation of young people to do government service, in uniform or without. SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil thinks that somehow makes sense, even if he prefers not to make a full commitment: “Forcing 800,000 young people is difficult.”

We already had the indestructible Lothar Matthäus on this talk night. Sandra Maischberger pulls the football card again. She asks the SPD general secretary about his love for FC Bayern Munich. The moderator wants to know what is more tormenting him: third place for his party in politics – or the possible third place for his football club in the Bundesliga: “Both are very often written off,” Klingbeil dribbles his way out of the question, “but they always are back there.”

A second parallel emerges between the SPD and the Munich club: the question of coaching arises. It’s just as well that Jürgen Trittin isn’t Lothar Matthäus. The Greens and the Reds: With this form of new conservatism, voters would have as little to laugh about as Ilse Aigner did when asked about Söder.