Bernie Sanders’ mittens declared on Inauguration Day 2021

Bernie Sanders’ mittens were famous on the internet long before he assumed what would become known as “grumpy chic” at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday morning.

The gloves – made from recycled wool sweaters and lined with fleece from recycled plastic bottles – blew up for the first time when Sanders wore them a year ago, in January 2020, at the Seacoast Women’s March in Portsmouth, NH. Back then, he was still the front runner in the Democratic primary race – and Donald Trump was about to begin his first impeachment trial.

“We are at an important moment where the whole world is watching,” Sanders said at the time. “I could say a lot of bad things about Trump and I do – every day. But I would like to say that the role of a president is to bring people together, whether they are white, black, straight or gay. We cannot accept the division of this president who is trying to tear us apart by pitting one group against another. ”

The world was watching. But not in the way Sanders would have expected.

Two days later, the Twitter account @BerniesMittens was born. “Don’t feel the BERN the BURN #ovenmittens”, it says in the biography of the account. “Mittens are the only thing that can keep Bernie’s hand gestures under control.”

The fan account tracked the mittens over time and tweeted a December 2019 story about Alex Cutler, a food service worker at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Cutler showed Sanders around as part of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Walk a Day program, which asked presidential candidates to shadow working people.

They waited together for the bus, the SEIU Vice President for Strategic Campaigns, which was published on Facebook. It was late and Cutler mentioned that her hands were cold. Sanders gave her his mittens. Cutler smiled.

As highlights of @BerniesMittens, the brown, black, and cream beauties were created by Jen Ellis, a second grade teacher from Essex Junction, Vt., And a partner she designed the pattern with.

Bernie’s mittens are made by Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction, Vt. She gave them to him more than two years ago and was surprised when he wore them on the campaign. They are made from recycled wool sweaters and lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles.

– Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) January 20, 2021

Vermont weekly Seven Days reported that Sander’s daughter-in-law Liza Driscoll runs the daycare of Ellis’ daughter Bright Futures. Ellis made mittens for her teacher friends for Christmas, Seven Days reported – and for Sanders.

“I just put a little note in it that said,” I believe in you, I’ve always believed in you, and I hope you run again, “Ellis told the old weekly.” And now he’s running again, apparently wearing that Mittens I made for him! “

Ellis was inspired by Cutler’s story, reported Seven Days, to send the campaign 10 more pairs of mittens to get them on the trail. The teacher stated that she wanted a couple to go to Cutler’s in Pittsburgh.

Ellis had been surprised when the senator wore her gloves on the campaign. Practical fashion choices are hardly unusual for Sanders, however: the Wednesday morning inauguration viewers were quick to point out his trustworthy Burton jacket. (Almost identical to the one from the “I’ll Ask Again” meme.) Another global brand based in Vermont.

“You have eyes for the community when you’re a teacher, and you can really see what happens when families don’t have access to adequate health care, basic human rights and needs,” Ellis told Seven Days in January 2020. ” And so I feel like Bernie is talking to everyone who interacts with humanity. “

Much of the internet felt the same way on inauguration day, turning Sander’s pragmatic “fashion statement” into a Twitter moment. Spectators across the country fell in love with his tan Burton jacket, woolen gloves, clear respect for social distancing measures, and the inexplicable Manila envelope he carried under his arm.

“Bernie is coming to the inauguration with only one copy of The Plan in his Manila envelope,” tweeted Oliver Willis, senior writer for the American Independent.

The reactions, memes and the mere stanning of the mittens, however, took center stage.

“I want mittens like Amo @BernieSanders,” tweeted Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) Using the Arabic term for uncle. “Tío Bernie”, as he is affectionately known by Latinos, was also worked into a San Marcos Cobjia or blanket.

“I see everyone making fun of Bernie’s ‘Grandpa at the Post’ vibe today, but those mittens are tight,” tweeted Grace Segers, political reporter at CBS News.

“Bernie is absolutely destroying Vermont Dadcore,” tweeted Vox reporter Rebecca Jennings.

Of course, putting politicians (or their mittens) on pedestals can be dangerous. As Sanders’ outfit showed on Wednesday morning, politicians are only human.

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