Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow uses a smartphone game in long federal and state conferences to clear his head – and rejects criticism. “Some play Sudoku, others play chess or Scrabble on their cell phones, and I play Candy Crush,” said the left-wing politician. For him it is a way to relax. In the “marathon sessions”, some ten hours long, as Ramelow said, with frequent interruptions, this was not a problem. It is not a secret either.
The 64-year-old caused a stir with his statements in a panel discussion at the audio app Clubhouse on Saturday night. As the “Welt am Sonntag” reported, Ramelow said in the round that he played Candy Crush at the meeting of the Prime Ministers with Chancellor Angela Merkel and managed up to ten levels.
Clubhouse is a social media app from the USA that is currently experiencing a hype in Germany. You can use it to participate in roundtables, but there are also closed roundtables. You cannot see yourself in the app because it is an audio format. Ramelow’s appearance had also caused a stir on Twitter. It was also about the fact that Ramelow is said to have called the Chancellor “Merkelchen”.
“Out of context”
The left-wing politician complained that set pieces from the panel were later taken out of context. The topic of the panel discussion was “trash and features”. “When you talk about trash, it’s trashy,” said Ramelow. If you leave that out in a subsequent debate, he thinks it’s funny. “If you make a deeply serious thing out of it, that it shows how the politicians think when they are private – I find that difficult,” said Ramelow.
With a view to Clubhouse, Ramelow expressed privacy concerns because users would be asked to allow access to their contacts. Ramelow is also bothered by the fact that the app is currently only available for iPhone users. “And it can’t stay that way, otherwise it won’t become my medium if it remains so elitist.”
Despite the criticism of his appearance on the audio app, Ramelow can currently envisage participating in further such discussion rounds. “I just accompanied two other numbers as a listener and found it really exciting to hear young people debating certain questions,” he said.