Eyes on the polls

NOT that we ever doubted for a moment that Germans are, well, serious people. And German politicians have a particular Ernst, even by German standards. They labor quietly at their Bundestag in Bonn, tucked away along the Rhine, where even tourists on a visit to their national capital have sometimes been unable to find them. They do not hesitate to use the title ``doctor'' if they have earned it. Now we discover a German preference for a bespectacled head of government. West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl - make that Dr. Kohl - had been going without his glasses once his nearsightedness improved. But an opinion poll showed 80 percent of the population favoring a bespectacled leader - and so the chancellor is wearing specs again, at least in public.

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