The 46th US president urged unity, asking Americans to ‘start afresh’ and to ‘begin to listen to one another again’.
US Senator Bernie Sanders’ bundled-up look set the internet on fire during President Joe Biden’s inauguration as Sanders sat huddled from the cold in a brown jacket and large, argyle-patterned woollen mittens.
Some Twitter users praised the fact that Sanders, a 79-year-old progressive from Vermont who ran for president twice, looked like the “common man” even at this historic event.
Sanders’ image from the inauguration, shot by AFP photographer Brendan Smialowski, has since popped up in an endless range of memes on social media.
Hi-Ace Bernie pic.twitter.com/U6jZWxAppX
— Donovan Goliath (@DonovanGoliath) January 21, 2021
— Angela Kinsey🍩 (@AngelaKinsey) January 21, 2021
Good Bernie work pic.twitter.com/PN6RI1zVlU
— Stephen Mangan (@StephenMangan) January 21, 2021
That’s it. We’re done here. Shut down the internet. pic.twitter.com/YPp8mempvI
— Hend Amry (@LibyaLiberty) January 21, 2021
Many mocked his look for resembling a “grandpa at the post office,” or said he looked like he was going out to “shovel the driveway”, while others found creative inspiration in the photo.
Bernie rendering. 10 minute sketch in Procreate by Caleb Cleveland. pic.twitter.com/9k0dtmh08X
— Dr. Allison Gill (@allisongill) January 21, 2021
Others joked that Sanders, seen during the ceremony often with his arms and legs crossed, looked like he was in need of a space heater.
Sanders remains a beloved political figure among progressive voters in the US, despite having failed to attain the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.
Meanwhile, other high-profile political figures also saw their choice of outfit in the spotlight.
It’s so hard to chose a favorite Bernie image but I really felt this one pic.twitter.com/3LOA2zU2oI
— Jana Lynne Sanchez (@janasanchez) January 21, 2021
Former first ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris, wore varying shades of purple to the event. Some speculated that the choice was a nod to a mix of blue and red, the colours associated with the Democrat and Republican Parties, and symbolized a call for unity.
Others noted that Harris often chose to wear purple during her campaign for the presidency in 2019. It was meant to honour the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to run for President in the US, who also wore purple during her campaign.