Cue the memes! Bernie Sanders' mittens stole the show at Biden's inauguration

21 January 2021 - 12:07 By Toni Jaye Singer
The man who spawned all the memes: US senator Bernie Sanders at the inauguration of president Joe Biden on January 20 2021 in Washington, DC.
The man who spawned all the memes: US senator Bernie Sanders at the inauguration of president Joe Biden on January 20 2021 in Washington, DC.
Image: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Make room Michelle Obama. Step aside J-Lo and Lady Gaga. The person whose fashion choice for US President Joe Biden’s inauguration caused the biggest buzz was Bernie Sanders.

A snap of the US senator sitting solo (thanks to social distancing) on a folding chair with his arms crossed captured the internet's imagination. As one Twitter user pointed out, his entire vibe was “this could have been an e-mail”.

Sanders' choice of casual outfit, which included a cosy coat and pair of oversized, oven glove-like mittens, seemed a bit incongruous given the more formal finery worn by the other dignitaries in attendance.

So it wasn’t long before people started photoshopping him into other unlikely settings, including scenes from famous shows like Game of Thrones and Sex and The City.

That said, some applauded his down-to-earth ensemble, with one social media user fondly declaring him “America's grandpa”.

There's a sweet story behind where he got those mittens, too. They were specially made for him by Jen Ellis, a teacher from Vermont, who crafted them from old woollen jerseys.

Ellis, who is a fan of Sanders' stance on education, told The Washington Post: “I thought, 'I'd like to make him a pair of mittens.' And I did. I totally remember the night I did it. I was thinking to myself, “Is this crazy? I don't even know this guy.' But I wanted to make them for him, so I did.”

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