Woolly mittens, a big skirt and hugs: eye-catching inauguration moments

Washington (AFP) –


Security was intense and the atmosphere muted without a large crowd, but Joe Biden's inauguration still threw up some lighter moments.

- Bernie's mittens -

Veteran left-winger Bernie Sanders, 79, was one of the scattering of guests, and the senator from Vermont made an instant impact on social media.

Huddled up on a folding chair, with arms crossed, wearing huge knitted mittens and a green coat to ward off the wintery conditions, Sanders watched his former rival become president.

Sanders, who arrived carrying a large brown envelope, was compared to a grandfather stopping in at the inauguration on the way to the post office, or perhaps he was off to pick up a doctor's prescription.

His wife Jane O'Meara Sanders embraced the look -- tweeting "Vermont jacket, Vermont gloves, Vermont common sense!"

Vogue declared that "nothing looks as good on him as his signature anti-fashion style."

- Lady Gaga's skirt -

Once all the guests were seated and well wrapped up, Lady Gaga was escorted down the stairs wearing a ball gown with a billowing red skirt to sing the national anthem.

The pop star's fashion statement -- designed by Schiaparelli -- was quickly hailed as the perfect outfit... to ensure social distancing.

- Super-sized Bible -

For his swearing in, Joe Biden put his left hand on his family Bible, an extra-large version which fascinated internet users.

Some wondered if it was printed in a big font to help Biden, aged 78, read it.

CNN said the five-inch (13 centimeter) thick Bible has been in the Biden family since 1893, with the new president also using it at his swearing-in ceremonies as vice president in 2009 and 2013.

- A cowboy at the podium -

After the inauguration, country music star Garth Brooks -- wearing blue jeans and a shiny belt buckle -- sung a solemn rendition of "Amazing Grace."

Perhaps forgetting the pandemic for a moment, he then put his cowboy hat back on and ran around without a mask to greet various dignitaries before diving into a hug with former president George W. Bush.