Photo of Bernie Sanders sitting at inauguration becomes internet meme
While the inaugural ceremony largely focused on President Biden and Vice President Harris, it was 'The Bern' who became a trending topic
History was made on Wednesday as America witnessed its oldest president and first woman and person of color vice president be sworn into office. But while the inaugural ceremony largely focused on President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, it was Senator Bernie Sanders who became a trending topic.
A photo of Sanders casually sitting cozied up in a winter coat, large mittens and his leg crossed went viral after the inauguration and was quickly turned into a series of memes on Twitter. While there was nothing unusual with Sanders’s presence at the ceremony, his “practical” attire apparently struck a humorous chord with many.
“bernie sanders got the “what, you want me to buy new gloves just for the inauguration???” fit on. practical,” wrote Twitter user @oeste. Another user tweeted, “Like Bernie, I also do not tolerate bullshit or cold terribly well.”
Other savvy social media users took it a step further by photoshopping Bernie Sanders in various locations from a New York City subway car to a scene from The Wire.
Some jokingly interpreted Sanders’s bundled-up perch as political shade, as Sanders himself had hoped he would be the one inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States. Unfortunately for him, Biden — with the help of Black voters, particularly in South Carolina — was able to come out victorious in the 2020 presidential Democratic primary.
Twitter user @AshleyKWilliams tweeted the viral photo with the caption: “This could’ve been an email,” while YouTube host @KyleKulinski wrote, “If Bernie was president he would’ve already abolished student debt through executive order.”
Despite Bernie Sanders’s practical outfit, it appears it was more intentional than one might think. The long-time Vermont senator’s mittens were made by a Vermont school teacher and his coat is from snowboarding company, Burton, which is headquartered in the Green Mountain State.
“Bernie’s mittens are made by Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction, Vt,” Buzzfeed News political reporter Ruby Cramer wrote on Twitter. “She gave them to him 2+ years ago and was surprised when he began wearing them on the campaign trail. They are made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles.”
In an interview with CBS‘ Gayle King, Sanders admitted he chose his outfit to be warm and not fashionable.
“In Vermont, we know something about the cold,” Sanders said following the inauguration, “and we’re not so concerned about good fashion.”
“We want to keep warm. And that’s what I did today,” Sanders added. King, laughing, replied: “Mission accomplished.”
Of course, Bernie Sanders accomplished something far more influential: the internet’s latest fodder for good, political humor.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!