Today’s US presidential inauguration brought many good things, but the thing Twitter seems most excited about is a new crop of Bernie memes.
The meme started with a wire photo of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), sitting on a folding chair watching President Joe Biden’s inauguration. The temperature in Washington, DC was in the 40s, so he’s bundled up with a coat and mittens, and he’s sitting socially distanced from everyone else, as his age and prior health issues put him at severe risk for COVID-19.
Something about Sanders’ chilly body language, his oversized wool mittens, and the fact that he was sitting entirely alone made the photo irresistible as meme material. Of course, the senator is no stranger to memes — including 2016’s Birdie Sanders and 2020’s “I am once again asking” — but this one has blown up particularly quickly. Take a look for yourself.
some album covers with cold Bernie pic.twitter.com/teg6TWBdXV— Pigeons & Planes (@PigsAndPlans) January 20, 2021
This is now a Bernie Sanders mittens stan account pic.twitter.com/eHBNWGXkqy— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) January 20, 2021
I made this Bernie sitting meme to contribute to the cause pic.twitter.com/kvHADLRFJI— DJ-KIMchi (@djjkim) January 20, 2021
"If I wanted to sit and watch a bunch of bad routines, I'd go back to congress!" pic.twitter.com/rl0CG0x5Tc— Muppet History (@HistoryMuppet) January 20, 2021
I've seen enough. This is the winner. pic.twitter.com/DuDeUGnGz4— Fred (@WaywardWinifred) January 20, 2021
who put Bernie on an icy moon in Destiny 2? Look at him just chilling there pic.twitter.com/B3YUK5m0Io— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) January 20, 2021
My question is who put Bernie somewhere even colder? Someone please get this man a beanie to match his mittens.
“This could’ve been an email” pic.twitter.com/kn68z6eDhY— Ashley K. (@AshleyKSmalls) January 20, 2021
Glad to see Isabelle is finally taking some time off from doing the morning announcements for Taytopia pic.twitter.com/avhN0Z8PUI— Taylor Lyles (@TayNixster) January 21, 2021
Someone also took the liberty of making it a Snapchat filter.
Of course, memes become more powerful when they’re put together.
OH NO ITS BERNIE AND HE'S GOT A CHAIR pic.twitter.com/J5BYar0YXi— Kibbie (@KibbieTheGreat) January 20, 2021
Bernie Sanders, first of his name, Wearer of Mittens, Sitter of Chairs pic.twitter.com/1j6p8mrdlr— Matthew Mucha (@mattymooch) January 20, 2021
Bernie Bliss. pic.twitter.com/2vD16hWExf— Michael Gillett | #WIMVP (@MichaelGillett) January 20, 2021
There has, of course, also been fan art (in a shockingly short amount of time).
Adding to the meme repertoire, there’s a picture of Bernie looking at his phone.
Bernie finding about the new memes. pic.twitter.com/8NBlUayU7A— Neo Liberal Evangelion (@neolibevan) January 20, 2021
And pictures of him holding an envelope are getting meme’d as well.
Breaking: Bernie Sanders has stolen the Declaration of Independence. pic.twitter.com/iCEk6cQL1p— Danny Neary (@itsdannyneary) January 20, 2021
no way. no fucking way pic.twitter.com/0o9kUFgWNo— zach silberberg (@zachsilberberg) January 20, 2021
OK I KNEW I COULD TRUST BERNIE!!! pic.twitter.com/JO94PGfJRW— New Year Same Parv✨ (@RealPattyWap) January 20, 2021
Since it’s Bernie, there’s a touching story to go with his look: the mittens he’s wearing are apparently handmade and were given to him by a supporter over two years ago.
Bernie’s mittens are made by Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction, Vt. 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. pic.twitter.com/ErLr29lY2t— Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) January 20, 2021
If you’re looking to jump in on the meme action, Twitter user @Taber has kindly made a transparent version, ready to be put into many, many more images.