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Annelena Baerbock. Photo: Andreas Gora - Pool/Getty Images

Germany’s leading political parties convened to nominate their candidates for chancellor on Monday, but while a bitter fight was raging in the conservative camp the Greens displayed no such drama in picking Annalena Baerbock.

Why it matters: With Angela Merkel set to step down after 16 years following September's elections, there's a growing chance Germany’s next chancellor will again be female but this time Green.

The state of play: The conservatives — made up of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister party in Bavaria, the Christian Social Union (CSU) — have seen their polling numbers slide amid a slow vaccine rollout and corruption scandals.

  • Now they're torn over whether to run recently elected CDU chairman Armin Laschet, state premier of Germany’s most populous state, or to buck convention and heed current polling, which favors the more media-savvy Bavarian leader, Markus Söder.
  • The Greens are currently second in the polls, ahead of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and within striking distance of the conservatives.

Once the radical environmental party, the Greens are now mainstream.

  • They already govern in 11 out of 16 state governments, and will almost certainly play a part in Germany's next coalition government, whether that's a so-called traffic light government involving the SPD and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) or a centrist government with the Conservatives.
  • That means that for the first since entering parliament in 1983, their candidate has a shot at becoming chancellor.

Baerbock, 40, is well-versed in foreign policy and represents a constituency in the former East Germany.

  • “I am running for renewal while others represent the status quo,” she said at a press conference on Monday.

Go deeper

Hope King, author of Closer
11 mins ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

First look: Senators propose bill to ban corporate PACs

Sens. Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly. Photos: Chip Somodevilla (left), Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) will soon propose a bill prohibiting for-profit corporations from establishing and managing political action committees, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The introduction of "The Ban Corporate PACs Act" comes amid heightened scrutiny on Capitol Hill regarding money in politics, including efforts to bar companies from influencing political campaigns and federal elections. It would likely face a court challenge and First Amendment concerns.

2 hours ago - Technology

Exclusive: YouTube shuts down two Oath Keepers channels

Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers. (Photo: Aaron C. Davis/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

YouTube has deactivated two channels linked to the Oath Keepers militia group whose members have been charged in relation to the January 6 Capitol riot, the company told Axios.

The big picture: Social media platforms that were used to plan or promote the Capitol attack have moved with varying degrees of speed to bar the accounts involved.

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