Bernie Sanders Is Making the Most Out of His Mittens Going Viral

Bernie Sanders and his mittens stole the show during Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, January 20. Instead of wearing formal outerwear for the occasion, Sanders opted to make warmth his priority. The Vermont Senator showed up in a puffy Burton GORE-TEX parka and mittens.

And the image of him casually sitting in a socially-distanced folding chair all by himself with his legs and hands crossed has now appeared in an infinite number of memes across the internet. Sanders is not going to let this moment go to waste. Instead, he is making the most out of his mittens going viral.

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders | BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

A Vermont school teacher made Bernie Sanders’ cozy mittens

According to CNN, Vermont school teacher Jen Ellis is the person behind Sanders’ cozy mittens. Ever since Inauguration Day, Ellis says she’s been flooded with requests from people interested in buying a pair. But, the mittens are no longer for sale.

“Thanks for all the interest in Bernie’s mittens!” Ellis wrote on Twitter. “I’m so flattered that Bernie wore them to the inauguration. Sadly, I have no more mittens for sale. There are a lot of great crafters on ETSY who make them.”

The second-grade teacher gave Sanders the patterned “smittens” — part mittens, part sweater — when he was on the campaign trail a few years ago. But, she never dreamed the Senator would wear them at such a high-profile event.

Ellis says she made the mittens from repurposed wool sweaters and lined them with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles. The accessory has now become iconic, along with Sanders’ puffy jacket and blue mask.

Sanders and his mittens have been photoshopped into absolutely everything you can imagine

In just a matter of hours, internet users across the world have photoshopped Sanders and his mittens into every image imaginable. He’s been on throne from Game of Thrones, and he’s been the subject of a Bob Ross painting.

Sanders and his mittens have also been placed in historical photographs. He’s also made it onto the door with Rose at the end of Titanic, And, with a new app, you can find the warm and cozy Senator outside your doorstep via Google Maps.

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According to People magazine, the image has also become a merchandising cash cow, with Etsy sellers putting it on everything from t-shirts to bobbleheads. And, as Ellis noted, many sellers on Etsy are selling Bernie-inspired mittens of their own.

“There’s no possible way I could make 6,000 pairs of mittens, and every time I go into my email, another several hundred people have emailed me,” Ellis said. “I hate to disappoint people, but the mittens, they’re one of a kind and they’re unique and, sometimes in this world, you just can’t get everything you want.”

Bernie Sanders’ mittens have their own Twitter account

For fans who want to know about Bernie’s mittens, they can follow the @BerniesMittens Twitter account. The page dedicated to the mittens began in 2020 after the Senator wore them to a Women’s March in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

In response to all of the memes, Sanders told CNN that it “makes people aware that we make good mittens in Vermont. We have some good coats as well.”

Sanders and his team are now using the image for a good cause. His wife Jane tweeted that the proceeds from a $45 dark-gray sweatshirt that features Sanders and his mittens that they are selling on his online campaign store are going to charity.

The unisex sweatshirt is made in the USA and the description says it is “crafted from 100 percent combed ring-spun organic cotton fleece.” However, because of the “overwhelming demand,” the website warns it might take a few weeks to receive your sweatshirt.

“In Vermont, we know something about the cold, and we’re not so concerned about good fashion, we want to keep warm,” the senator told Gayle King on Wednesday. “And that’s what I did today.”