It’s never easy to figure out, in advance, what’s going to become the internet’s next major obsession. Maybe it’s a particularly dopey picture of a dog. Maybe it’s a random stock photo of a guy checking out a woman who’s not his girlfriend. Maybe it’s a Vermont senator and former presidential candidate, waiting for this show to get on the road while sporting some pretty kickass mittens.
It was that latter one today, certainly. Because while Joe Biden became President Of The United States today, Bernie Sanders appears to have ascended to his role as King Of The Memes. In fact, the internet was so delighted by shots of the 79-year-old Vermonter looking cozy at Biden’s inauguration earlier this afternoon that they just kind of went wild with it, transforming much of Twitter into an elaborate game of Where’s Bernie.
Tragically, our very favorite image, a picture of Bernie on the Frasier couch that was tweeted out by Peri Gilpin, appears to have been deleted. But there really were a lot of amazing efforts, all driven by a sort of monomaniacal need to see Bernie transplanted throughout history. Why this particular picture? Why this exact moment? Who can say. There’s a certain fundamental Bernie-ness to the image, though, a world-weary resignation to the fact that, well, it’s time to sit out in the cold for two hours and watch some other guy become president again. Call it heartwarming, for a particularly irascible sort of heart.
(And if you want real heartwarming, you can always dip back to remind yourself of the story of who gave Sanders the mittens in question—Jen Ellis, a retired Vermont teacher, gave them to him a few years back.)