The Story Behind Bernie Sanders' Viral Inauguration Day Mittens

The 2021 Presidential Inauguration has been filled with standout, symbolic style moments from First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former First Lady Michelle Obama and more. But they're not the only ones getting attention. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has been generating lots of chatter on the internet for his own inauguration ensemble.

Sanders dressed sensibly for the chilly 42° Fahrenheit temperature in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, opting for a casual Burton GORE-TEX parka that he was spotted wearing earlier this year in a campaign video. He also stayed practical by wearing a disposable protective face mask and cozy mittens that had Twitter talking.

"Bernie keeping it real today with his classic coat and mittens," one Twitter user wrote.

Another person said, "cant focus on the inauguration cause all I can think about is Bernie's mittens."

Even the New York Times' fashion critic, Vanessa Friedman wrote on Twitter: "In all the inauguration fashion news, let us not overlook Senator Bernie Sanders' mittens."

Sanders' mittens hold special meaning. Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction, Vermont, made them for him a few years ago and even makes similar styles for those interested in a pair.

"I made Bernie's mittens as a gift a couple years ago. They are made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece (made from recycled plastic bottles). #BerniesMittens," Ellis wrote on Twitter in 2020.

President Joe Biden was sworn in shortly before noon on Wednesday as the 46th president of the United States, with his family watching on at the U.S. Capitol. Shortly before, Harris took her oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (the highest court's first Latina), making her the first woman, first Black person and first person of South Asian descent to hold the office.

In President Biden's inaugural address, he spoke to the country of democracy's resilience and its challenges, two weeks after the violent riots in the Capitol led by a mob who tried to thwart the certification of his election victory over former President Donald Trump.

"Let's start afresh — all of us," Biden said, urging unity as he has since first launching his presidential campaign in 2019. He went on: "Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war."

"America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge," Biden said. "Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a case: a case of democracy. The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded. Democracy is precious, democracy is fragile and at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed."

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