David Axelrod has proven he is a man of his word. While President Obama’s mustachioed strategist didn’t have to shave off his famous facial hair after promising to do so should Obama lose Pennsylvania, Minnesota or Michigan in the election (the President swept all three), he did make good on a follow-up deal Friday morning.
Axelrod, who agreed to slash the ‘stache if his epilepsy charity raised more than $1 million, lopped it all off on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to commemorate the fundraising milestone. Axelrod has sported his trademark facial fur for over 40 years, the Huffington Post noted, but he was willing to part with it to support research for epilepsy, a neurological disorder from which his daughter suffers.
“We’re cutting it off because there are people who have lost a lot more than a mustache to epilepsy,” Axelrod explained, according to USA Today.
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On the show, Axelrod, 57, admitted to feeling “faint” before saying goodbye to his most defining feature. His wife, who stood by his side through the trim, said she had never before seen him bare-faced.
Axelrod made the election bet that first put his mustache in jeopardy (and prompted the launch of the website www.doesaxelrodstillhavehismustache.com) with Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough — who kicked off the giving with a $10,000 donation to Axelrod’s charity and avoided having to grow a mustache himself for losing. The Morning Joe hosts pointed out that other high-profile donors had also contributed to the $1 million, including Mark Cuban, Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Carole King and the Commander-in-Chief himself. Donald Trump also offered up some cash, and—never one to let another guy outdo him in a publicity stunt—called in to the show during Axelrod’s appearance to compliment the strategist on his new look.
Still, after the last hairs fell, Axelrod seemed most concerned about his wife’s opinion. “I just want to leave with the same woman I came in with,” he said.