- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator and former presidential candidate, has become an online sensation after spectators caught sight of him looking grumpy and sporting a pair of oversized mittens at Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The 79-year-old was photographed bundled up in woolly mittens and a brown waterproof Burton jacket during the outdoor ceremony as he sat crossed-legged and socially distanced from others in the audience.
Mr Sanders' seemingly unimpressed facial expression and sartorial choice has been dubbed "grumpy chic" by admirers online.
Since the image was shared by fans online, scores of social media users have been commenting on his style and creating viral memes of the liberal senator.
The picture has been superimposed on a number of iconic pictures, including one of him sitting alongside Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US president Franklin Roosevelt and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in a black-and-white photo from the World War Two Yalta Conference in 1945.
This is the best one I’ve seen so far fwiw pic.twitter.com/kd3fOgyyCb
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 21, 2021
Another showed Mr Sanders in a picture of the 1969 moon landing.
In others, he shared a park bench with actor Tom Hanks in "Forrest Gump" and sat behind Chewbacca and Hans Solo in "Star Wars".
— Tony Martino 🦊🇨🇦 (@tony_martino) January 21, 2021
Mr Sanders’ himself appeared to have been tickled by the online reaction, revealing he was "aware" of the flurry of memes and chuckling when he was shown a photoshopped picture of him sitting alongside the cast of the US series "Sex and the City".
"I was just sitting there, trying to keep warm, trying to pay attention to what was going on," Mr Sanders humbly told NBC’s Late Night programme.
— Heather Hill (@Tvini) January 21, 2021
Mr Sanders added he was "in tears" as he watched Mr Biden’s swearing in and the departure of Donald Trump.
The senator’s mittens were made by Jen Ellis, a teacher in his home state, from repurposed wool sweaters and material from recycled plastic bottles.
She has since been overwhelmed with demand from customers eager to recreate Mr Sanders’ style. Mr Sanders’ Burton coast has also sold out online.