Democratic Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who enjoys widespread support among the younger population, has gone viral again, this time for his fashion choices during the inauguration of Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris.
A photo of Sanders sitting in the bleachers on Capitol Hill before Biden was sworn in as the 46th US president immediately did the rounds on social media, triggering an avalanche of memes.
Bernie Sanders's memes [thread] :- pic.twitter.com/z7cy83TWsL— $_/÷33÷×^₹₹,;&€₹€$× (@Moodi_Londa) January 22, 2021
The photo of the Democratic Senator sitting on a folding chair while wearing knitted gloves has become so popular that people are comparing it to the well-known “sad Keanu” meme – a photograph of the Canadian American actor Keanu Reeves sitting on a park bench enjoying a sandwich.
The Vermont senator later explained his outfit, saying he would rather stay warm than fashionable.
“In Vermont, we dress warm — we know something about the cold, and we’re not so concerned about good fashion. We want to keep warm, and that’s what I did today,” he told CBS News’ Gayle King on Wednesday.
And it looks like that the senator, who describes himself as a “democratic socialist,” is capitalising on the situation, as his campaign’s official website now offers a unisex crew sweatshirt emblazoned with the viral photo.
This is not the first time Sanders' campaign team has tried to cash in on merchandise of a viral nature; the store still offers “Feel the Bern” stickers – the slogan went viral during the 2015-2016 US presidential election campaign. Back then, it was also possible to snap up underwear decorated with the slogan. Although the undergarments were being sold unofficially by a group of Vermont-based supporters, Sanders embraced the meme in the end.