Frank-Walter Steinmeier doesn’t do hectic. Germany’s top diplomat can be silent. He can ponder.
And there is a lot to think about right now. His job, said Mr. Steinmeier after becoming foreign minister again following a four-year break, hasn’t changed. But the world is completely different. It’s rougher. Louder. Is there still a chance for quiet contemplation?
There are so many global crises requiring attention at the moment. But Mr. Steinmeier doesn’t let himself get distracted. Though he often works into the night, he still manages to have breakfast at home – that is, when his wife and grown daughter don’t have their own appointments. But he relies on his family to keep himself grounded in a chaotic world.
Sitting in his office in central Berlin slightly tanned and relaxed, he certainly doesn’t appear stressed out. It’s hard to imagine him that way. He works hard, because it comes naturally to him. Mr. Steinmeier would be frustrated if he wasn’t busy. No one knows that better than his wife, and she wants him to be happy. But his relaxed appearance also glosses over his ambition.