Shortly after a photo of Sen. Bernie Sanders bundled up with mittens at the inauguration went viral, the Vermont politician’s campaign team flipped the meme-inspiring incident into a sweatshirt that will benefit a nonprofit in his state.
The demand for the “Chairman Sanders Crewneck” available on Sander's campaign website was “overwhelming,” and it sold out within hours. Some orders stated there would be delays in delivery for as long as two months, according to RollingStone. All of the proceeds from the sale of the popular crewneck sweater will go to Meals on Wheels Vermont.
The photo of Sanders was taken by Brendan Smialowski for Getty Images, which became one of the most memorable images from the Wednesday event. The photo embodied Sanders’ “grumpy grandpa” look with his legs and arms crossed, big furry mittens covering his hands, and a basic facemask. However, folks online felt that judging from Sander's body language, he clearly had other places he needed to be.
What we know about Bernie Sanders's mittens:
???? They were gifted to him by a Vermont schoolteacher two years ago.
???? Their wool comes from repurposed sweaters.
???? They are lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles.
— Vox (@voxdotcom) January 21, 2021
Sanders was modest about his involvement in the photo’s wild popularity during an interview on Thursday with Seth Meyers on Late Night. “I was just sitting there, trying to keep warm, trying to pay attention to what was going on,” he said.
He then deflected the attention and used the opportunity to shout out Jen Ellis, a Vermont school teacher, who made his fashionable mittens and has already sold out of them.
She tweeted that she appreciated all the interest and adoration for the Bernie “smittens,” which means it's part mitten and part sweater. She shared with The Jewish Insider that she would never be able to make as many as the several hundred people who email her each week would like.
"Thanks for all the interest in Bernie's mittens!" Ellis wrote. "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."
Sanders, who heads the Senate Budget Committee, said he aims to use budget reconciliation to ensure that policy is passed to support working families as the coronavirus continues to disrupt the economy, according to Fox Business.
Budget reconciliation permits Congress to expedite various tax and budget measures with a simple majority, allowing them to be passed without the president’s signature. In most cases, budget resolution measures need to solve the deficit through spending reductions or revenue hikes, per Fox Business.
Some of the most recent applications of budget reconciliation came through the Affordable Care Act and Jobs Act.
President Joe Biden agreed earlier this month to work in tandem with Sanders on their shared goals for the economic health of the country, Fox Business reports.
“We agreed that we’ll work closely on our shared agenda of increasing worker power and to protect the dignity of work for all working people,” Biden said.