Many of the attendees at U.S. President Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday were praised for their fashion, from Vice-President Kamala Harris’s stunning purple ensemble to Michelle Obama’s rich wine pantsuit.
Then there was 79-year-old senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont, who approached the chilly temperatures of Washington D.C. in a more practical way.
The outspoken senator and former presidential candidate chose the cosy route for his inaugural wear, opting for a pair of big ol’ fuzzy mittens and a coat that might be familiar to anyone aware of those “I am once again asking you” memes.
The image of Sanders, alone in a safe, socially distanced folding chair with his mittens and coat, quickly became a meme in its own right, as we all related to the need to forgo pomp and circumstance and just be comfortable in these trying times.
There’s actually a sweet backstory to Sanders’ mittens, which were given to him by a teacher in Vermont and made out of recycled materials.
Sanders exuded huge “reluctant dad at a sports game” energy Wednesday, and we are here for it.
Someone get that man a Thermos of hot cocoa and a space heater!
In an interview with CBS later Wednesday, Sanders justified his choices.
“In Vermont we know the cold,” he said. “We’re not so concerned about good fashion. We want to keep warm.”
If you’re asking me, those mittens are good fashion.
A lot happened Wednesday, as a new administration moved into the White House and the era of president Donald Trump came to an end. But most importantly, we got a new meme, and for that we can all be eternally grateful.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story identified Bernie Sanders as a Democratic senator.