By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The day Joe Biden was inaugurated as president, one of his former rivals in the Democratic primaries, Bernie Sanders, once again became a meme.

The Vermont senator’s outfit choices — a functional, informal winter jacket and big, cozy mittens — contrasted noticeably with other lawmakers and dignitaries at Wednesday’s socially-distanced ceremony. The internet took notice, and photoshopped images of the senator quickly spread online, with Sanders inserted into iconic locations, movie scenes and various artworks.

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The original photograph for the meme, snapped by Getty photographer Brendan Smialowski, shows Sanders sitting with his legs crossed, his arms folded on his lap. His expression is difficult to read, as his face if mostly covered by a mask. He looks bored and cold.

His look was just about perfect for describing winter in Minnesota. One of the most-viewed Minnesota-themed memes, created by the Twitter user @MinnesotaMemes, showed the senator sitting at snow-covered table with a pint of beer. The caption reads: “Minnesotans enjoying outdoor dining in January.”

The original image for that meme was taken outside Brit’s Pub in downtown Minneapolis. In the background, you can see the WCCO-TV building. The joke was particularly timely as many bars and restaurants had to resort to outdoor dining earlier this month due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Another COVID-related meme featured Sanders sitting outside of First Avenue, waiting for live music to return. It was created by Justin Bailey, who also tweeted a link to the music promotion company he works for, offering musicians possible exposure at this time when touring isn’t an option.

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Yet another Minnesota take on the Sanders meme placed the senator in the seat of Princess Kay of the Milky Way at the Minnesota State Fair. He’s photoshopped into a refrigerated room as a worker carves his likeness out of a block of butter. It’s unclear who created this meme, but they decided to keep the princess’s crown on the senator.

Then, on Friday, when many thought the meme had run its course, WCCO’s Jason DeRusha tweeted a Bernie meme, along with what temperatures looked like in the morning. It was received well, proving the meme is still alive.

This isn’t the first time Sanders has been the stuff of memes. During the primary campaign, there were myriad riffs on his “I am once again asking” fundraising ads, in which he’s wearing the same winter jacket he wore to Biden’s inauguration.

In an interview Wednesday with CBS News’ Gayle King, Sanders defended his practical attire and laughed off all the online attention.

“In Vermont, we dress, we know something about the cold,” he said. “And we’re not so concerned about good fashion. We just want to keep warm. And that’s what I did today.”

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Sounds pretty Minnesotan.