Bernie Sanders’ casual mittens look goes viral on social media

US Senator Bernie Sanders’ casual appearance ignites the internet during President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Senator Bernie Sanders sits in the bleachers on Capitol Hill before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th US President at the US Capitol in Washington, DC [Brendan Smialowski/AFP]

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.

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.

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.

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.

Source: News Agencies