After the inauguration of President Joe Biden on January 20, 2021, the internet was swarming with memes and photographs of one of the senators of Vermont, and former presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, wearing a pair of mittens. The internet immediately fell in love with the mittens Sanders was wearing, so much so that the owner of the shop they came from had to stop taking orders for them. She sold out so quickly that she had to stop making them for anyone else until further notice. “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,” Jen Ellis, the woman who hand-knit Sanders mittens, said.
One of the memes has edited a blanket around Sanders, as he looked a little chilly. However, other memes are a little more out there. Some of them have edited him into interesting backgrounds, such as the couch with the cast of Friends, into T.V. show scenes, and even into a popular cartoon called Where’s Waldo. Others have edited his head onto different bodies or his entire body shrunk down to be the fly on Mike Pence’s head.
The photo has also become more than a meme. Some companies are using the photo as a way to market products. One company that sells cubes for wax warmers even went as far as marketing a scent called “Bernie’s Mittens,” with the photo of Sanders on the front of the packaging. Sanders official website even went so far as to release a crewneck sweatshirt with the famous photo printed on them. Any proceeds from the crewneck will go to the Meals on Wheels, a charity in Vermont devoted to delivering food to those who can not purchase their own. The sweatshirts became an instant hit. Now they are only available on backorder, which could take up to eight weeks.