Bernie Sanders’ campaign has turned the viral photo of him bundled up at Joe Biden’s inauguration into a new sweatshirt, with all proceeds going to charity.
The “Chairman Sanders Crewneck” — named to honor Sanders’ assumption of the powerful Senate Budget Committee chair now that Democrats control the chamber — is on sale now for $45, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Meals on Wheels Vermont. The absurd popularity of the meme, however, seems to have already caused a glut in orders, with a note on the site cautioning, “Due to overwhelming demand for this item, it may be a few weeks until you receive your sweatshirt.”
The photo of Sanders at the inauguration, taken by Brendan Smialowski for Getty Images, was probably the most unexpectedly memorable image to come out of Biden’s inauguration. The photo captured Sanders at his normcore best: crossed legs, crossed arms, big fuzzy mittens over his hands, face mask properly covering nose, mouth and chin, yet also just slightly askew. Capping it all off, Sanders’ gray jacket was clearly the same one he was wearing in the “I am once again asking… ” meme that emerged during his 2020 presidential bid (if anything, it’s just proof that a person truly only needs one good coat).
The photo of Sanders quickly took off as a meme, with people dropping the seated Senator into classic paintings, movie stills, album covers, historical photos and other memes. His pose was also perfect fodder for reaction memes to convey annoyance at everything from unnecessary meetings to four-band concert bills.
Realizing it's four bands not three pic.twitter.com/8UAh6QXtXh
— Polyvinyl Record Co. (@Polyvinyl) January 20, 2021
Sanders, for his part, seemed generally amused, though mainly unfazed by his latest meme-ification. During an interview with Seth Meyers on Late Night Thursday, Sanders said of the photo, “I was just sitting there, trying to keep warm, trying to pay attention to what was going on.”
And in classic Sanders fashion, rather than focus too much on the memes, he took the opportunity to shout out the Vermont schoolteacher, Jen Ellis, who made his eco-friendly mittens and has already sold out the rest of her supply.