There is a strongly rooted assumption that foreign policy is an executive domain and rarely plays a role in the electoral struggle. Germany is something of an exception and this paper looks at the way foreign policy has provided a site for electoral competition in Germany. Its principal focus is on the two Grand Coalitions with an especial emphasis on the contest between Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier to turn foreign policy profile into party advantage. It concludes that this contest was won overwhelmingly by Chancellor Merkel but that in contrast to the first Grand Coalition that foreign policy was not transformative. © 2010 Association for the Study of German Politics.