Two days after his iconic look at the US presidential inauguration sparked thousands of internet memes across the world, US Senator Bernie Sanders has said that he was “just sitting there trying to keep warm.”
Standing out in a crowd of glamorously dressed guests, Bernie Sanders showed up for the inauguration ceremony of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in a heavy winter jacket and patterned mittens — with a photo of him sitting bundled-up spawning various viral memes.
Social media users were quick to superimpose a shot of the former US presidential candidate, sitting cross-legged, on a wide variety of images. One placed Mr Sanders on a bench next to Tom Hanks in “Forrest Gump”, another put him in detention with the teenagers from “The Breakfast Club”, and he also made it into numerous “Star Wars” scenes.
Reacting to the memes, Mr Sanders, on the Late Night show with Seth Meyers, said: “I was just sitting there trying to keep warm, trying to pay attention to what was going on.” He added that he has seen some of the viral memes.
— Late Night with Seth Meyers (@LateNightSeth) January 22, 2021
Apart from his bundled-up look, another star of the memes were his mittens, which were made by a teacher in Vermont, US, and have been in high demand since the last two days.
“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,” Mr Sanders said on the show.
The mittens were created by Jen Ellis, who said on Twitter that she made them from repurposed wool from sweaters and lined them with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles.
— Jen Ellis (@vtawesomeness) January 21, 2020
Many internet users also made memes on the envelope that Mr Sanders was carrying during the ceremony and wondered what was inside it. To this, the US senator said: “I’d love to tell you… It’s top secret.”
Earlier, Mr Sanders said with a snicker on CBS News after the inauguration: “You know, in Vermont… we know something about the cold. We’re not so concerned about good fashion, we want to keep warm. And that’s what I did today.”
His wife Jane O’Meara Sanders also praised the look, tweeting: “Vermont jacket, Vermont gloves, Vermont common sense!”
Mr Sanders has been in the political limelight for years — most recently, he aimed for the White House in the 2020 Democratic primaries, which he lost to the eventual winner Joe Biden.
(With AFP inputs)