It's official: In a little over a week, Obama advisor David Axelrod will shave off his 40-year-old mustache — an icon, insofar as facial hair in Washington goes — as part of a secondary wager he made with MSNBC's Joe Scarborough. The bet isn't actually the original bet Axelrod and Scarborough made (which would have seen Scarborough grow hair on his upper lip, since Obama won Florida). It was made in the wake of the election-night results, and Axelrod said he'd shave off the 'stache if Joe and Mika could raise $1 million for his epilepsy charity, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy. All that said, Joe and Mika made good on their pledge Thursday morning, which means Axelrod is getting a clean shave, on air, on December 7. So here's a pre-emptive of obituary, of sorts:
2007: This is the Associated Press's oldest picture on record for Axelrod and his mustache. This was during then-Senator Obama's foreign policy speech at Depaul. That speech kind of turned Obama's chances, as then-Atlantic columnist Andrew Sullivan put it. This is what Axelrod's mustache looks like when it knows its dude has it in the bag:
February 4, 2008: The mustache laughs because it knows Obama has got this. And of course because they're rallying with Ted Kennedy later.
June 3, 2008: This is what the Axelrod mustache looks like when Obama sealed the nomination. It looks tired.
October 2, 2008: Axestache doesn't want to really talk about the fact that Joe Biden didn't wipe the floor with Sarah Palin the way it thought it would.
November 24, 2008: Axestache watches President-elect Barack Obama.
December 19, 2008: Like Rahm Emanuel's position in Obama administration, the mustache is fleeting.
February 24, 2009: Mustache gets cold, but there is advising to do.
March 9, 2009: What makes a mustache this happy? Why, President Barack Obama signing an Executive Order on stem cells and a Presidential Memorandum on scientific integrity, of course.
March 18, 2009: "Nope, Mr. President, those pants do not make you look fat," said the mustache while in Orange County, California.
June 30, 2009: "Yes, we did."
September 12, 2010: The mustache is seen fundraising in Indianiola, Iowa.
January 28, 2011: Foreshadowing by obscuring?
May 31, 2012: The Axestache visits Boston, sets its sights on Romney.
September 5, 2012: Axestache just told David Plouffe that an Obama beard won't be necessary.
October 2012: Axestache's life is threatened:
November 2, 2012: Axestache once again reassures that an Obama beard won't be necessary. "We got this, cool?" Axestache murmurs.
November 29, 2012: The December 7 shaving date is announced.