WASHINGTON - Sen. Bernie Sanders drew attention on social media during Wednesday’s 2021 presidential inauguration for an unlikely reason: his outfit.
The Vermont senator wore a bulky winter coat, handmade mittens and carried an unexplained manila envelope during the event. He also donned a blue face mask and his trademark glasses.
Former presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) sits in the bleachers on Capitol Hill before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th US President on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.
Many people tweeted that his look was more suitable for winters in the Green Mountain State.
According to Vermont newspaper Seven Days, Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction, made the mittens for Sanders. "She used repurposed wool from sweaters and lined them with fleece. She generally sells mittens at craft fairs or gives them to friends. Sanders' daughter-in-law, Liza Driscoll, runs Ellis' daughter's daycare, so one holiday season, Ellis made mittens for all the teachers — plus Bernie," Seven Days wrote.
The mittens became such a social media sensation that the winter clothing item already has its own Twitter account.
"We support this vision for a better world — for all people and all mittens," @BerniesMittens wrote.
In Sanders’ sartorial defense, local weather reports called for temperatures to be around 40 degrees during the Washington, D.C. ceremony with wind gusts up to 40 mph as a cold front moved through the district.
But it wasn’t only the outfit that drew attention online.
The senator's relaxed demeanor, sitting in a socially-distanced chair with his arms crossed, caught the attention of social media users and instantly became a meme.
Sanders campaigned for the presidential Democratic nomination, but dropped out of the race in the spring of 2020.
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were sworn in at the U.S. Capitol for their historic inauguration Wednesday, flanked by a cadre of former presidents, including George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
Biden became the nation's 46th president while Harris blazed a new path for women and minorities. She's the first female, Black and Asian vice president in the history of the country.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.