By Judy Kurtz
But Obama ended up winning the three states, so Axelrod, 57, went back on the cable news channel Thursday to revise his whisker-wager. The longtime political guru, whose daughter has battled epilepsy her entire life, told “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski that he’d be willing to do away with his constant under-the-nose companion if he’s able to drum up $1 million for Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE). Axelrod’s wife, Susan, is chairwoman of the charity organization.
But Aaron Perlut, chairman of the American Mustache Institute, almost dropped his hair trimmer when he heard the news.
One of the leaders of the pro-mustache group, whose website says it’s “protecting the rights of, and fighting discrimination against mustached Americans by promoting the growth, care and culture of the mustache,” says he initially felt Axelrod’s election-night bet was “incredibly irresponsible.
He told ITK, “There are very few mustached Americans in positions of power in this country. For him to even jest that he would remove his 40-year-old lip sweater, at a time when our people need leadership — it was rather disheartening.”
However, Perlut’s organization soon decided to keep a stiff (and hair-covered) upper lip when its members heard of the charitable element to Axelrod’s challenge. Perlut, who says he’s currently sporting a horseshoe-style ’stache, says he did a little bit of soul-searching before giving his blessing. “If him shaving something that can ultimately grow back can aid a charitable movement or cause, we’re in support of it.”
Susan Axelrod wrote on CURE’s website about her husband’s effort (which now has its own website, SlashTheStache.com), “I think David was a little nervous about actually showing me his upper lip, because despite 33 years of marriage, I have never seen it.”
Perlut’s undoubtedly hoping that, if Axelrod is successful in his fundraising endeavor, his lip doesn’t stay bare for long. After all, Perlut declares, mustaches make their wearers “38 percent better than our mortal brethren.”