Obama Aide Axelrod Loses Mustache on TV for Charity
Washington's most famous mustache is no more. Senior Barack Obama adviser David Axelrod shaved his iconic lip hair live on TV Friday after raising $1 million for epilepsy research.
Axelrod said he has sported a mustache -- a rarity in official Washington -- for 40 years.
"We're cutting it off because there are people who have lost a lot more than a mustache to epilepsy," said Axelrod, 57, as he prepared to lose the mustache live on the MSNBC news show "Morning Joe."
Axelrod was saved from a hack job when the TV hosts stepped aside and let a professional barber with a straight razor do the job.
One of the first donations in the challenge came from a surprising source: real estate mogul Donald Trump, a fierce Obama critic. "We agree this is a good cause," Trump said in a phone call to the show.
Other donors included actors George Clooney, Tom Hanks and millionaire basketball team owner Mark Cuban.
Days before the election Axelrod appeared on the "Morning Joe" show and vowed to shave his mustache if Obama lost the key states of Michigan, Minnesota or Pennsylvania in the November 6 vote.
Obama carried the states, so he later promised to shave for charity.
Not everyone was impressed with the stunt.
When Axelrod threatened to shave, "we thought it was incredibly irresponsible considering that he really serves as a shining beacon of freedom to many mustached Americans," said Aaron Perlut, head of the -- yes -- American Mustache Institute.
Perlut however told the Washington Examiner that his group would support the charity shave "assuming Mr. Axelrod will regrow said lower-nose forestry unit."
The money goes to the Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, a group headed by Axelrod's wife Susan Landau. Axelrod also has a daughter who suffers from epilepsy.
No news on whether Axelrod will re-grow the mustache.