The longtime political operative, 57, made a very public bet on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last month that he would shave his signature 'stache if he managed to raise $1 million for Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE). Earlier in the day Friday, Axelrod, whose daughter has battled epilepsy throughout her life, made good on the promise, saying goodbye to his hairy friend of 40 years on live television.

Axelrod tells us his wife, Susan, is actually pretty pleased with her new, smooth-faced hubby. “The early returns suggest that it’s going to be awhile before I try to grow one back. She likes it.”

altHe adds, “In fact, we were walking away this morning after they cut it off and she said, ‘I always hated that thing.’ Now we’ve been married for 33 years, so I said, ‘This is a heck of a time to tell me!’”

Now, Axelrod is passing the torch across the aisle in terms of hairy bets. Republican media consultant and CNN pundit Alex Castellanos will put his own mustache on the line for CURE, agreeing to do away with his under-the-nose follicles if the charity can acquire 500 additional donors.

If he meets his fundraising goal, Castellanos better get ready for some razzing from friends. Axelrod says Biden has been busting his chops about his mustache-less makeover: “Everybody’s got something to say. He got a good laugh out of it.”

Biden, who at last check was sporting a healthy share of strands on his dome as he playfully stroked another journalist's cheek, chuckled when we asked whether facial hair plays well for politicians, saying, “I’m worried about the hair on your head — what part that plays in politics. That’s all I’m concerned about.”

Earlier in the night, the vice president remarked to the CURE supporters, “It’s great to be at a bipartisan event in Washington, where everyone has a consensus on what to cut and who should pay for it.”

Photos (top left): Vice President Biden and Susan Axelrod. 

(Right): David Axelrod