Bernie Sanders’ Inauguration Mittens Turned Him Into A Meme Once Again
Michele Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris and Dr. Jill Biden, among others, have all been praised for their fashion choices at the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony this week. But Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) stood out amongst the crowd with his practical winter attire.
Sanders arrived at the ceremony dressed in a heavy beige coat, woolen mittens and a blue surgical face mask, carrying a manila envelope. People went crazy over his outfit and what was in the envelope, but ultimately, it was photograph taken by Brendan Smialowski of him sitting cross legged with crossed arms in a socially distanced folding chair that sent the internet into a meme frenzy.
Bernie has places to be after this 😭 pic.twitter.com/N8fSBHwgZi
— astasia (@AstasiaWill) January 20, 2021
“This could’ve been an email” pic.twitter.com/kn68z6eDhY
— Ashley K. (@AshleyKSmalls) January 20, 2021
When your grandson’s violin recital is running long pic.twitter.com/dTBuCw8EGT
— Clue Heywood (@ClueHeywood) January 20, 2021
It was soon revealed that the coat Sanders is wearing in this photo is the same coat he wore in a 2019 campaign ad. The ad in question turned itself into a popular meme in early 2020.
someone: *tells me their name*
me 7 seconds later: pic.twitter.com/ZnC0fR63GT
— lucy,, (@curledbitch) February 2, 2020
— Sara Luterman (@slooterman) January 20, 2021
Internet users also found out that the mittens Sanders is wearing in the photo were gifted to him by Jen Ellis, a teacher from Vermont. They are made out of repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles.
I made Bernie’s mittens as a gift a couple years ago. They are made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece (made from recycled plastic bottles). #BerniesMittens pic.twitter.com/lTXFJvVy9V
— Jen Ellis (@vtawesomeness) January 21, 2020
STEAL HIS LOOK, bernie sanders inauguration edition:
ULINE manila envelope, amazon, $11/carton
surgical mask, amazon, $5.49/50 pack
mittens, jen ellis, finessed for free
Burton edgecomb jacket, burton, $113.97 pic.twitter.com/mrs9DnQnT2
— abby wargo (@abbylwargo) January 20, 2021
Eventually, the photo of Sanders in the chair was turned into a transparent PNG file and people began to photoshop him into historical photos, movie scenes, paintings and anything else they could think of.
— Madeline Carl (@madeline__carl) January 20, 2021
— Eryka Grant (@erykatz) January 22, 2021
— Gabriel Ramos (@MrGabeRamos) January 21, 2021
— History Matters 365 (@Hist_Matters) January 21, 2021
— abby (@ahbeeeeeeeee) January 21, 2021
One person turned the photo into a Snapchat filter so users could insert Sanders into their homes and everyday lives. Twitter user Nick Sawhney created a website that let people insert Sanders into Google Maps street view scenes. Currently, the website is down because Google Maps API costs increased. Sawhney is collecting donations to get the website back up.
— nick (@nick_sawhney) January 21, 2021
Sanders responded to the attention in an interview with CBS.
“In Vermont, we dress, we know something about the cold,” he said. “And we’re not so concerned about good fashion. We just want to keep warm. And that’s what I did today.”
Sanders also talked about the meme on Late Night with Seth Myers.
“I was just sitting there trying to keep warm, trying to pay attention to what was going on,” he said to Seth Myers. “What was really nice is the woman who made the mittens lives in Essex Junction, Vermont, she is a schoolteacher and a very, very nice person. She has been somewhat overwhelmed by the kind of attention that is being shown to her mittens.”
As for the mysterious envelope he’s holding, Sanders said it’s “top secret.”