Skip to comments.Hair! Coburn Grows Beard for Lame Duck
Posted on 12/23/2010 6:31:06 AM PST by PJ-Comix
Sen. Tom Coburn caught Washingtons 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 Dont Ask, Dont Tell, and ratifying START.
Is the Oklahoma Republican sending a political message with his new look? Coburns spokesman, John Hart, said he was aware his boss facial addition caused a stir, particularly on Twitter, but insisted hes not trying to attract attention.
He just decided to stop shaving, said Hart. It has no premeditated point to it.
The senators mostly white facial hair sticks out because, well, its 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? Theyre just not fashionable, the Senate historian says. And, of course, senators are.
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.
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.
Keep the beard, Tom!
You look mighty foxy to us older gals!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
--yeah--the "Yassir Arafat" look--I don't understand that either--
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.
someone please inform him: Brovember is over.
Me too! I wonder what the shrinks would say about that.
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.
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.
Does the name Shelia Jackson-Lee ring a bell?
I use a Remington beard trimmer. Great product.
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.
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.)