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‘Best worn while vanquishing malarkey’: Biden leans into Dark Brandon meme with campaign T-shirts

'One of the funniest things a president has ever done.'


Claire Goforth


Posted on Apr 25, 2023

President Joe Biden is officially embracing the Dark Brandon meme.

“Dark Brandon” is a play on the conservative mantra, “Let’s go Brandon.” The slogan that now appears on all types of merchandise and as a standard quip among online conservatives came about after a newscaster mistakenly thought a crowd at a NASCAR race was shouting “let’s go Brandon”—the chant was actually “fuck Joe Biden.”

As the Daily Dot previously reported, Dark Brandon emerged from the online MAGA ether in late 2021. The meme was initially used to criticize Biden, but his supporters gradually appropriated the meme and made it their own.

Now Biden himself is claiming it. His campaign is selling Dark Brandon T-shirts for prices ranging from $32 for a small to $35 for a 3XL. The Dark Brandon image also appears on a 404 error page on the campaign website.

The T-shirt features Biden with glowing red eyes, a popular version of the Dark Brandon meme. The site proclaims that the shirts are “best worn while vanquishing malarkey,” a nod to his “no malarkey” slogan during the 2020 campaign and longtime habit of using the antiquated term.

The shirt launch was timed to coincide with Biden officially announcing his 2024 campaign.

It’s difficult to predict how the public will receive campaign gimmicks. Judging by the initial response online, Biden appropriating Dark Brandon appears to be working in his favor.

One person tweeted that it’s “legit one of the funniest things a president has ever done.”

“I may need one of those shirts. People with a sense of humor about themselves are solid,” wrote @jbrady177.

Upon seeing a post about the shirt, another person commented, “Just ordered.”

Some people offered suggestions of other shirts Biden should sell, like the viral photo of him looking personable and jolly in Florida while Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) walks alone nearby with a look of apparent displeasure.

As expected, Biden’s detractors don’t like him appropriating Dark Brandon for the campaign.

“You can’t make this shit up! So sad he’s my current President…” wrote one.

The president’s fans aren’t bothered by the critics. They even like that the campaign website includes Dark Brandon.

A 404 error page on the site uses the same photo as the T-shirt with the caption, “You’re lost, Jack. Let’s get you back on the rails.”

Biden has at times called people “Jack,” and he’s well-known for commuting via train from his home in Delaware to Washington, D.C., when he was a senator.

“Thank god someone with a sense of humor understands this moment,” @cmclymer said of the 404 page. “This is perfect.”

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*First Published: Apr 25, 2023, 11:46 am CDT