Bernie Sanders’s Mittens. That’s It.
Leave it to Bernie Sanders to star in the funniest meme to come out of President Joe Biden‘s inauguration.
On January 20, Twitter users lost it when the Vermont senator and former presidential candidate arrived at the U.S. Capitol clutching a manila envelope between his very warm, mitten-clad hands.
“Bernie is your uncle who walks into your graduation dinner, hands you a check he just ripped out of his checkbook, no card, and asks the waiter where the nearest UPS Dropbox is because he needs to return something while he’s out,” writer R. Eric Thomas tweeted.
Thomas added, “Bernie said ‘stimulus checks start at noon-oh-one and I’ve got the first batch right here.'”
It’s hard to imagine a pair of mittens overshadowing Lady Gaga’s entire Hunger Games-esque ensemble, but here we are. “I wanna be Michelle Obama, but I know I’m a Bernie Sanders,” one Twitter user wrote. Same.
“Bernie dressed like the inauguration is on his to do list today but ain’t his whole day,” another wrote. I can’t.
Of course, people also got very creative with Photoshop:
In case you’re wondering—I know you are—this sartorial choice was about more than just surly grandpa aesthetics. “Bernie’s mittens are made by Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction, Vt.,” BuzzFeed political reporter Ruby Cramer says. “She gave them to him 2+ years ago and was surprised when he began wearing them on the campaign trail. They are made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles.”
But no, Sanders may not be wearing the same jacket from another Bernie meme, as some Twitter users believe. Sanders’s wife reports that Bernie simply purchased a similar version of the coat. “Vermont jacket, Vermont gloves, Vermont common sense,” Jane Sanders tweeted.
“THIS is the dad energy,” writer Rachel Syme posted.
Oh Bernie, please never change.