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Hair! Coburn Grows Beard for Lame Duck
National Journal ^ | November 30, 2010 | Alex Roarty

Posted on 12/23/2010 6:31:06 AM PST by PJ-Comix

Sen. Tom Coburn caught Washington’s attention Tuesday by sporting a new beard for the lame-duck session, just in time for what are sure to be intense debates over extending tax cuts, repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and ratifying START.

Is the Oklahoma Republican sending a political message with his new look? Coburn’s spokesman, John Hart, said he was aware his boss’ facial addition caused a stir, particularly on Twitter, but insisted he’s not trying to attract attention.

“He just decided to stop shaving,” said Hart. “It has no premeditated point to it.”

The senator’s mostly white facial hair sticks out because, well, it’s simply not usual for lawmakers have beards in this or any recent decade, according to Senate historian Don Ritchie.

“Facial hair in recent years has been relatively less popular, but certainly in the 19th century beards were commonplace,” Ritchie said.

The era between the Civil War and World War I was a particularly popular time for beards and moustaches, Ritchie said. A quick view of some of the official congressional pictures from, say, 1888 reveals a majority of lawmakers sporting facial hair of some kind.

Senators of a more recent vintage who sported beards include Jon Corzine, Paul Wellstone, and, for a time, Gary Hart, who grew one at the behest of his children, said Ritchie.

Why are beards so scarce on Capitol Hill? They’re just not fashionable, the Senate historian says. And, of course, senators are.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: beard; coburn; tomcoburn
This article was written at end of November when Coburn's beard was still scraggly. However, I just spotted him on the tube and the beard is now full and makes him look very distinguished. I say Coburn should KEEP the beard. What say you? Vote here.
1 posted on 12/23/2010 6:31:12 AM PST by PJ-Comix
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To: PJ-Comix

2 posted on 12/23/2010 6:36:09 AM PST by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: PJ-Comix

The loss of the beard as a mainstay of male fashion started in the early 20s (I believe) when there became the popular notion that men “hide” behind beards and can lie more effectively while wearing them.

Politicians since then have been very aware of this common perception and have gone clean shaven for the most part to at least have the appearance of honesty.

I think that perception is fading and we are seeing a resurgance of beards in U.S. culture. Part of it, I do believe, is a reaction to the “metrosexual” phase that the U.S. culture is still suffering through.


3 posted on 12/23/2010 6:37:26 AM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: PJ-Comix

I started growing my beard last year, when the style was just taking off. Now I see it everywhere, which I like. So I’m good with Sen. Coburn growing a beard, just so long as he remains reliable.


4 posted on 12/23/2010 6:39:31 AM PST by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, patron of fathers, pray for us!)
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To: PJ-Comix

Keep the beard, Tom!
You look mighty foxy to us older gals!
: )


5 posted on 12/23/2010 6:45:20 AM PST by ozark hilljilly (Had enough, yet?)
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To: BelegStrongbow

I’ve had a full beard for almost 20 years. I never trimmed it during the first year just to see what it would look like really long. By the time it hit the middle of my chest I trimmed it but it is still considered a full beard. What I don’t understand is men who grow beards and trim them to look like just a two week growth. Like a permanent 6 O’clock shadow.


6 posted on 12/23/2010 6:46:00 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: ozark hilljilly
His beard is now a bit longer than this:


7 posted on 12/23/2010 6:48:46 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix

Those are the metros posing as real men, IMHO. I trim mine to 1/2 inch, which looks full and is neat and trim. I also shave the cheeks, leaving a one inch beard along my chin line. I’ve seena lot of actors sport that kind of beard.

Of course, some men look bad with a full beard (Brad Pitt and Mel Gibson, I’m looking at you). Brad would look very good with the 1/2 inch because it would fill out his thin face.


8 posted on 12/23/2010 6:51:49 AM PST by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, patron of fathers, pray for us!)
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To: BelegStrongbow

I actually get nightmares about losing my beard. I have that nightmare at least 4 times per year. In my dream someone shaves off my beard or I accidentally shave it off. And then when I wake up, the first thing I do is grab my beard to make sure it is still there.


9 posted on 12/23/2010 6:55:15 AM PST by PJ-Comix (The Coupon Whisperer)
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To: PJ-Comix

I seen him on the tube earlier this week and I was thinking to meself ‘Damn, I may hafta reconsider my Todd Palin crush!’, LOL!

Some men just have the face for beards and goatees. Sen. Coburn is one, my late hubby was one...looked like a consumate dweeb with no chin hair, uglier than sin, but grown women would swoon at his feet once he grew a snazzy goatee!


10 posted on 12/23/2010 7:00:38 AM PST by ozark hilljilly (Had enough, yet?)
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To: PJ-Comix

Don’t worry. It grows back.

I had to shave my beard twice (for jobs) in the past 35 years. Grew it back as soon as I left the job. Also used to have the same nightmares, but after shaving it off and growing it back, they went away.

The only real change is that there’s more salt than pepper in it.


11 posted on 12/23/2010 7:01:01 AM PST by neocon1984
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To: PJ-Comix
---Like a permanent 6 O’clock shadow.--

--yeah--the "Yassir Arafat" look--I don't understand that either--

12 posted on 12/23/2010 7:07:28 AM PST by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the media or government says about firearms or explosives--)
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To: PJ-Comix

If he keeps the beard and is elected president in 2012, he will be the first president to wear a beard since Benjamin Harrison left office in 1893.


13 posted on 12/23/2010 7:14:05 AM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: PJ-Comix

someone please inform him: Brovember is over.


14 posted on 12/23/2010 7:19:41 AM PST by Katya (Homo Nosce Te Ipsum)
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To: PJ-Comix
In my dream someone shaves off my beard or I accidentally shave it off. And then when I wake up, the first thing I do is grab my beard to make sure it is still there.

Me too! I wonder what the shrinks would say about that.

15 posted on 12/23/2010 7:27:39 AM PST by Right Wing Assault (The Obama magic is <strike>fading</strike>gone.)
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To: PJ-Comix
I think beards are always an interesting topic of discussion in sports. I believe it was the Edmonton Oilers of the early 1980s who started the superstitious tradition among hockey teams of having their players grow "playoff beards" -- based on the idea among notoriously superstitious hockey players that they should leave everything unchanged in the playoffs as long as they keep winning. By the time the Stanley Cup Finals are over, the winning team looks like a bunch of mountain men.

This has sometimes been taken to extremes, as seen in this photo of Caroline Hurricanes defenseman Mike "Ronald McDonald" Commodore:

I'd like to see someone in Congress show up for the 2011 session looking like THAT.

16 posted on 12/23/2010 7:30:42 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: PJ-Comix

In that picture, Coburn’s is exactly the same as mine. To answer your question above, in my humble opinion, it’s just neater this way. Not a 5 O’Clock shadow at all, but I like to keep it trimmed as my beard hair is scraggly and curly and when untrimmed individual hairs point in all different directions.

I’m sure your full beard is fine on you. Mine needs to be kept trimmed.


17 posted on 12/23/2010 7:40:34 AM PST by Alas Babylon! (Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must-like men-undergo the fatigue of supporting it)
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To: Alberta's Child
I'd like to see someone in Congress show up for the 2011 session looking like THAT.

Does the name Shelia Jackson-Lee ring a bell?

18 posted on 12/23/2010 7:41:31 AM PST by A_Tradition_Continues (formerly known as Politicalwit ...05/28/98 Class of '98)
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To: PJ-Comix
While we're on the general subject, here's a bad stache:


19 posted on 12/23/2010 7:44:44 AM PST by ErnBatavia (It's not the Obama Administration....it's the "Obama Regime".)
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To: A_Tradition_Continues

ROFL.


20 posted on 12/23/2010 7:44:58 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: PJ-Comix

I use a Remington beard trimmer. Great product.


21 posted on 12/23/2010 7:54:50 AM PST by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: PJ-Comix

If I had Tom’s looks that pic in front of the Congress could have been of me. My beard is somewhat less gray, but whiter in the center.

I don’t dream about my beard...yet.


22 posted on 12/23/2010 8:05:03 AM PST by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, patron of fathers, pray for us!)
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To: BelegStrongbow
I started growing my beard last year, when the style was just taking off.

Photobucket I grew my beard in 1976 (a lot like this acartoon), a year before I met my wife. I still have it.

23 posted on 12/23/2010 9:30:02 AM PST by sionnsar (IranAzadi|5yst3m 0wn3d-it's N0t Y0ur5:SONY|Why are TSA exempt from their own searches?)
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To: sionnsar

You’d look a lot like another friend of mine who in fact plays the bagpipes. Guess there’s a socio-cultural thread building up here. :)


24 posted on 12/23/2010 11:17:41 AM PST by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, patron of fathers, pray for us!)
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To: BelegStrongbow
You’d look a lot like another friend of mine who in fact plays the bagpipes. Guess there’s a socio-cultural thread building up here. :)

Actually, I'm a piper too. (Currently inactive due to travel.)

25 posted on 12/23/2010 11:38:26 AM PST by sionnsar (IranAzadi|5yst3m 0wn3d-it's N0t Y0ur5:SONY|Why are TSA exempt from their own searches?)
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