President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. 2021, saw a new chapter begin for America. In addition to history being made, everyone was on their (patriotic) fashion A-game. From Lady Gaga’ stunning — if Hunger Games-esque — dove broach to Vice President Kamala Harris’ inspiring purple pantsuit to Ashley Biden’s tux, viewers were in for some serious style. And thankfully so. Without events like the postponed 2021 Grammys and the dashed 2020 Met Gala, it just felt like people needed some fashion and a photo to meme the heck out of. And the internet got it. Everyone has simply gloved — sorry — loved that Bernie Sanders mitten photo.
While fist bumps were going down between Obamas and Harris’s and smiling onlookers were already seated, the Vermont senator was caught (as you may know by now) sitting alone, looking moody in a pair of patterned, oven-like mittens and a practical, grey winter coat. Whether it was a deeper meaning (Sanders accepting it wasn’t him up there), or Sanders’ solitude at the time, he became an instant photoshop model and the memes began pouring in. Seriously, people are absolutely mitten … we mean smitten with the photo.
Sanders’ informal yet winter-ready look was actually quite meaningful, as the gloves were made for him by Vermont-based teacher Jen Ellis. So, Sanders was supporting his home state and wearing a keepsake. Regardless, the outfit was a look, and people have responded with their graphic design best. Bundle up and scroll down for some of the funniest Bernie Sanders inauguration mitten memes.
Bernie Sanders' mitten memes are the toast of the internet
So, how has the internet reacted to Bernie Sanders’ mitten moment? Quite warmly, in fact. “Bernie Sanders, first of his name, Wearer of Mittens, Sitter of Chairs”, one Twitter user wrote, placing Sanders on the Iron Throne. “Doors Closing,” Chicago Transit Authority’s official account tweeted, placing the Senator on a bus. “When you get invited to a meeting but it should have been an email,” one Twitter user wrote humorously, alongside the now-famous image. Sanders even popped up on Matt James’ season of The Bachelor.
Others noted the internet was overreacting to Bernie Sanders’ cold-weather practicality. “dk what the girlies are going thru this week but bernie sanders is a 79-year-old man and it was probably 38 degrees when that photo was taken,” one Twitter user wrote. Fair enough.
That said, Bernie Sanders didn’t exactly ride the coat-tails, so to speak, of his massive meme spotlight. Instead, when asked by NBC about the outfit, he humbly wrote off the attention and praised his home state. “It makes people aware that we make good mittens in Vermont,” he told NBC News. “We have some good coats, as well,” he added.
In an interview with CBS This Morning on Jan. 20, 2021, Sanders further elaborated on the look. “In Vermont we dress warm,” he told co-host Gayle King. “We know something about the cold, and we’re not so concerned about good fashion. We want to keep warm, and that’s what I did today.” Ultimately, Bernie Sanders’ mitten moment was extremely … Bernie Sanders.
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