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Sanders inauguration outfit with handmade mittens goes viral

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 6:21 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (WCAX) - Wednesday was President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ big day, but that didn’t stop Sen. Bernie Sanders from going viral.

It wasn’t for a speech calling to raise the minimum wage or decrying “the millionaires and the billionaires.” Instead, it was for his fashion. The senator’s made-in-Vermont mittens were trending on social media.

“You know they zoomed right in on him, with his mittens, and I was like, there they are!” said Jen Ellis.

The Westford Elementary School teacher got a pair of her homemade mittens to Senator Sanders after his first presidential run. Ellis’ daughter went to the day care Sanders’ daughter-in-law ran.

“I sent them to him via her, with a note that said like something like, ‘I hope you run again, I believe in you, I like you, I’ve always voted for you,’ something like that,” Ellis said.

The mittens, which Ellis sold at craft fairs. are made from old wool sweaters sewn together and lined with fleece from recycled plastic. Sanders wore the mittens at a New Hampshire event last year and got some attention, but nothing like Wednesday.

“All of the sudden my phone started dinging and people were saying that Bernie was wearing my mittens,” Ellis said.

And people noticed. Sanders is trending on Twitter, becoming a viral hit. The image of him seated on a folding chair with his legs crossed instantly gave rise to countless memes. “CBS This Morning” anchor Gayle King even asked Sanders about his Inauguration Day fashion statement.

“In Vermont, we know something about the cold, we’re not so concerned with good fashion, we want to keep warm,” Sanders responded.

“I gave those mittens as a gift to Bernie, expecting nothing in return, and I think it’s beautiful that they have gone so far, and I think it’s wonderful that he represents Vermont in that way, that he brought a handcrafted item with him to this historic day,” Ellis said.

Ellis says she’s gotten hundreds of emails from people looking to buy a pair of mittens, but she says she now only makes them as gifts for family and friends.

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