The internet loves a good Bernie Sanders meme (his “I am once again asking...” image has been making the rounds for months). This week's portrait of Sanders keeping warm at President Joe Biden's inauguration, however, broke the meme mold as the Vermont Senator, wearing a decorative set of mittens, started popping up in everything from pop cultural and historical events to famous works of art.
So, has Sanders seen the viral memes? According to his interview with Seth Meyers last night (21 January), yes, he has.
“You were sort of one of the stars of the inauguration. Were you aware that this photo became the meme of the day?,” asked Meyers on Late Night.
“Not at all. I was just sitting there,” Sanders explained, “trying to keep warm and trying to pay attention to what was going on".
“Does your staff show [the memes] to you?,” asked Meyers, showing Sanders a popular image with Sanders sitting with the Sex and the City characters.
“Yeah, I've seen them,” laughed Sanders.
Sanders also addressed the influx of messages the Vermont teacher who made his mittens had received in the last couple of days, saying, "What was really nice, Seth, is the woman who made the mittens lives in Essex Junction, Vermont, she is a schoolteacher, and is a very, very nice person, and has been somewhat overwhelmed by the kind of attention that has been shown to her mittens."
“People were asking what you were carrying – what was the manilla envelope?” Meyers followed up, referencing another popular Sanders image of the day.
“I'd love to tell you, Seth – top secret,” Sanders quipped.