Franz Muentefering, the head of the German Social Democratic Party, decides to step down to spend more time with his ill wife. A blow for the Social Democrats, since "Muente" was probably the most colorful politician in Germany. During the media frenzy about the affair, the Vice-President of the German Parliament, fellow Social Democratic Wolfgang Thierse, defends (G) Muentefering’s decision by saying "To leave his wife sitting alone in the dark in Ludwigshafen, like [former Chancellor] Helmut Kohl did, is hardly ideal."
This was a reference to the late Hannelore Kohl, wife of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl. She suffered from a severe light allergy, and took her own life in 2001. Thierse was immediately criticized from all sides, including his own party, for referring to the private life of a fellow public figure. He realized his error, and sent a letter to Chancellor Kohl apologizing for the remark. Kohl says Thierse "apologized to me with good form. I accept the apology. As to other aspects of the matter, I will say nothing."
Class displayed. Case closed. Back to things that matter.