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Lawmaker caught playing Candy Crush during State of the Union

Commentary: It seems an iPhone and a game came in handy for Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


I wonder what level she's on.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The game of politics has become very polarized of late.

There seems so little to unite, regardless of the rhetoric.

Can it be surprising, then, that a Getty photographer captured more than one Democratic member of Congress on their phones during Tuesday's State of the Union extravaganza?

Of particular interest, perhaps, is Rep. Brenda Lawrence.

The Democratic from Michigan was identified by several publications as playing Candy Crush on her iPhone.

It's unclear what level she's attained. Some might conclude, however, that there's evidence of a certain level of disrespect for President Donald Trump's oratory.

Indeed, the Detroit News quoted her as saying after the speech: "When you know his policies and the things he has said and the disrespect, I cannot connect the words to the person standing there."

Neither the White House, Getty nor Lawrence's representative immediately responded to a request for comment.

Getty told the Daily Mail that the photo was taken at 9:42 p.m. ET (enlarging the phones on the image confirm that as the time), as the president was talking about the era of alleged economic surrender being over.

It's not as if Lawrence was alone on her phone. Getty's image captured New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman and Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty on their phones. Neither appeared to be gaming. 

Lawrence may not have used her phone to play Candy Crush all the time during the speech. Indeed, her Twitter feed shows Twitter's iPhone app being used to send the president messages.

It's wise to be relieved, however, that she distracted herself with an innocent game. 

Ever since technology became portable, politicians (like us constiutents) have succumbed to its lures while supposedly doing their jobs.

A couple of years ago, Norwegian politician Trine Skei Grande was caught playing Pokemon Go in parliament.

But then there were lawmakers who used their gadgets for, well, other pursuits. 

For example, Italian politician Simeone Di Cagno Abbrescia was snapped surfing escort sites in parliament. ("It was just curiosity," he said.)

Then there was the Indonesian antiporn crusader who was caught, oh, viewing porn during a parliamentary debate. (He resigned.)

At heart, our gadgets have become personal appendages that we use seemingly at all times, not all of those times being appropriate.

Oh, what's appropriate and not in public life these days? I'm not sure I know anymore.

Technically Incorrect: Bringing you a fresh and irreverent take on tech.

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