Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman may have been the most inspiring part of January 20th’s inauguration ceremony, but Bernie Sanders was the coziest, watching the event while bundled up in his signature brown jacket and sporting now-famous chunky mittens. The look was instantly meme-ified, and the Vermont senator is well aware of that. He addressed the “Bernie in a chair” viral phenomenon on January 21 on Late Night With Seth Meyers; when Meyers mentioned that he knew Sanders had attended the inauguration, the senator quipped, “I heard about that!”
“I was just sitting there trying to keep warm, trying to pay attention to what was going on,” he said of his now-famous pose. “What was really nice is the woman who made the mittens lives in Essex Junction, Vermont, she is a schoolteacher and a very, very nice person. She has been somewhat overwhelmed by the kind of attention that is being shown to her mittens,” he added. Meyers explained that the woman is unable to make mittens for all who want them, then pivoted to the other photograph of Bernie that went viral: his mysterious manila envelope. What’s inside? “I’d love to tell you, Seth. It’s top secret,” says Sanders. Well, there you have it. However, we’d like to think this joke on Twitter is the truth: “Inside the envelope is an article Bernie cut out of the newspaper that he thought Biden would find interesting.”
On the topic of giving credit, that viral chair photo was taken by Brendan Smialowski. Sanders also said of the occasion, “I was in tears seeing the new president getting sworn in,” and praised President Biden for the seriousness with which his administration is facing the challenges of this moment. Watch the full conversation here:
That’s our Bernie Sanders. Always cozy and ready to fight.