Bernie Sanders Senate Steps Photo Leads to Schoolhouse Rock Comparisons

  • Senator Bernie Sanders was captured in a photo sitting on the steps outside Capitol Hill.
  • The picture caught the eyes of netizens who compared him to a cartoon in an educational song.
  • Incumbent Sanders has been the face of a meme at least once before.

Senator Bernie Sanders has become a meme again.

Known to some as Uncle Bernie, the 80-year-old senator was captured by Los Angeles Times photojournalist Kent Nishimura sitting on the steps outside the US Capitol during a 15-hour “vote-a-rama” on Sunday to pass the Inflation Reduction Act – a climate, health and tax package of 740 billion dollars.

New York City photographer Clayton Cubitt posted an apropos comparison of the image to an image from a Schoolhouse Rock song called “I’m Just a Bill.”

The song, written by Dave Frishberg and performed by Jack Sheldon, has become an educational staple since its release in 1976 – teaching children about the process a bill goes through before it becomes law with the help of a catchy tune.

“I’m just a bill. Yeah, I’m just a bill,” the song begins. “And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill,” the song continues, showing the seemingly worn-out animated scroll sitting on the steps as Sanders did on Sunday.

The image comes after another meme of Sanders sitting in a chair at President Biden’s inauguration in January 2021 made its rounds on the internet with the senator photoshopped into a variety of situations.

Former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) sits on the dais on Capitol Hill before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

Former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) sits on the dais on Capitol Hill before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images


When interviewed afterward by Seth Meyers on his late-night television show, Sanders explained that he was just “sitting there trying to stay warm, trying to pay attention to what was going on.”

“Sen. Sanders has a very well-defined brand and image,” Brendan Smialowski, the photojournalist who snapped the viral image of the Sanders mitt, told CNBC in 2021. “He is who he is and he’s comfortable with it, and it’s very much part of his politics.”

“It was a nice slice of life,” Smialowski said. “That’s just Bernie being Bernie.”

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