Bernie Sanders Has Seen the Memes, and He's Laughing with You

Chelsey Sanchez
·3-min read
Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI - Getty Images
Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

Mittens? On. Memes? Posted.

Vermont senator and former Democratic presidential hopeful Bernard Sanders knows about all the viral memes you have made of him—and know that he's laughing with you.

For the uninitiated, Sanders was snapped at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris looking much more casual than his fellow congressional attendees. Wearing a muted brown overcoat and knit mittens, Sanders sat with his legs and arms crossed indifferently before him. Various edits of the photo have since permeated every crevice of the Internet: Here, Sanders sits at Jesus Christ's right side in Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper; there, the senator joins the fellowship of the ring. From Sex and the City to Twilight, the Bern has spread everywhere.

In an interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers, the 79-year-old offered his reaction to the now inescapable meme. "I was just sitting there trying to keep warm, trying to pay attention to what was going on," he said. Still, he adds, "I've seen them."

Sanders also talked the logic behind his inaugural fashion choices to CBS. "In Vermont, we dress warm," he said. "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."

Jen Ellis, a Sanders supporter and Vermont teacher from Essex Junction, gifted the now famous mittens to the senator about two years ago.

She acknowledged the surging interest in her knitting craft on Twitter. "Thanks for all the interest in Bernie's mittens! It truly has been an amazing and historic day," she wrote. "I'm so flattered that Bernie wore them to the inauguration. Sadly, I have no more mittens for sale. There are a lot of great crafters on ETSY who make them."

Ellis also told Jewish Insider that she no longer makes the mittens. "I'm not going to quit my day job. I am a second grade teacher, and I'm a mom, and all that keeps me really busy," she said. "There's no possible way I could make 6,000 pairs of mittens, and every time I go into my email, another several hundred people have emailed me. I hate to disappoint people, but the mittens, they're one-of-a-kind and they're unique and sometimes in this world, you just can't get everything you want."

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