How is Bernie Sanders cashing in on hilarious inauguration memes?
Bernie Sanders showed up to the 46th presidential inauguration of Joe Biden on Wednesday this week dressed in a casual parka, black slacks, and less-than-fancy mittens. While he initially did receive some criticism for his overly casual attire, this was quickly washed out and replaced with a meme campaign that took the internet by storm.
Bernie, with his handmade-in-Vermont mittens and his very over-it-all expression, showed up everywhere. He was photoshopped into a plethora of situations by a lot of different people including into famous movie scenes, historical images, with people’s pets, in people’s houses. Meme Bernie showed up absolutely everywhere.
Five days on, and more memes are still being created. Meme Bernie is certainly getting around, and the possibilities of where he might show up next appear to be endless. Not one to shy away from poking a little fun at himself, Bernie Sanders himself is now getting in on the action.
Instead of just contributing to the circulation of Meme Bernie himself, the Sanders campaign has gone one step further and slapped the image of Bernie sitting on the chair, looking cold & grumpy at the inauguration, mittens front & center, on a black crew-neck shirt. They’re selling the shirt for $45 USD and donating one hundred percent of the profits to Meals on Wheels Vermont.
As if this wasn’t a good enough deed in itself, the Sanders’ campaign went yet another step further to ensure that the cotton fleece shirt was entirely made & printed in the United States. The shirt is currently only being sold in a small/medium size.
The Sanders’ campaign released a statement, acknowledging that there was already a huge demand for the shirt. They confirmed that due to this, shoppers who purchase the shirt will likely have to wait between three & six weeks for their product to arrive.
Going to charity
Sanders hasn’t commented on why he chose Meals on Wheels Vermont specifically. They are a charity organization that provides hot meals to citizens of Vermont under the age of sixty who have chronic health conditions. The program is designed to ensure that folks who are unable to prepare their own meals are able to have at least one hot meal a day, five days a week.
On Thursday, Sanders told The Late Show with Seth Meyers that he was unaware of the attention he had attracted. “I was just sitting there trying to keep warm and trying to pay attention to what was going on,” said Sanders.
However, in addition to the sweatshirt, Sanders said that the best thing to come of the attention he received was that he was able to provide some recognition to the woman who made his mittens. They were made by a second grade Vermont teacher, Jen Ellis, who gifted them to Sanders in 2016.
This was not the first appearance of the now infamous mittens though. Made from recycled sweaters, the mittens made several appearances and attracted attention during Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign trail, as well.
“What was really nice, Seth, is that the woman who made the mittens lives in Essex Junction, Vermont,” Sanders said. “She is a schoolteacher and a very, very nice person, and she has been somewhat overwhelmed by the kind of attention that is being shown to her mittens,” Sanders told Seth Myers on The Late Show With Seth Meyers.
Now, Jen Ellis has received enough requests for mittens from the public that she has been able to flip what was a generous gift into a small, personal business.
The Sanders campaign website says that the sweater is currently sold out. They have not confirmed whether more stock will be made available any time soon. Watch this space for more information!