Bernie Sanders' Inauguration Mood Is the Perfect Meme for Winter 2021

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Andrea Park
·3 min read
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Photo credit: Brendan Smialowski - Getty Images
Photo credit: Brendan Smialowski - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

I am once again asking you to apply an extremely versatile photo of Bernie Sanders to a multitude of situations in your life—because, yet again, the Vermont senator has gone viral for merely being his 79-year-old self. Sanders' latest meme-able event arrived almost exactly a year after his last, the still-applicable "I am once again asking you" moment from a late 2019 fundraising video. Upon his arrival at the Jan. 20 inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the nation's new president and vice president, Sanders plopped down in a chair far away from the rest of the audience (social distancing king!), burrowed into his coat and cozy-looking knit mittens, and waited for the festivities to begin. And thus, a meme was born.

As with previous widely circulated photos of Sanders, the most relatable thing about this snapshot is the septuagenarian's constant air of no-nonsense grumpiness and a general vibe of being immediately over whatever is happening if it doesn't directly pertain to his legislative goals—in the same way that, say, you might be incredibly over a party if you're just not in a partying mood. That vibe, plus Sanders' admirable dedication to COVID protocols, just might qualify this incredible photo as not only the first truly great meme of 2021, but also a perfect encapsulation of this particular moment in history.

In an added bonus, Twitter users have noticed that Sanders appears to be wearing the exact same coat in his 2021 meme as he was in the fundraising video that soon became his 2020 "I am once again asking you" meme. You've got to admire his consistency and practicality!

As for the mittens, according to BuzzFeed News reporter Ruby Cramer on Twitter, they were gifted to Sanders by a Vermont teacher who made them out of repurposed wool sweaters and recycled plastic bottles. If you had "Bernie Sanders becomes a sustainable fashion icon" on your 2021 bingo card, go ahead and cross it out.

And now, without any further ado, please enjoy the best applications of Sanders' inauguration vibe:

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