Last night, while millions of Americans listened intently to Barack Obama's plan for lasting prosperity, I, too, sat transfixed. But not so much by his words, exceptional though they were. Rather, I was fascinated by the situation that's apparently developing on his upper lip.
Now, it might've been due to the HD set I was watching his address to Congress on (BTW, Nancy Pelosi in HD = yikes), or perhaps it was the lighting or the angle, but from where I was sitting, it appeared fairly obvious that President Obama is growing a mustache.
Look closely at the photo of him. Note the shadow on his upper lip — there's definitely something happening there. This is huge! This is historic! The president of the United States is growing a mustache! The ramifications of this will reverberate long after the stimulus package has been spent.
It's not just amazing because the president's pseudo-stache looks like one you'd see on a 14 year old smoking cigarettes behind a 7-11 — really, when was the last time a president had facial hair of any sort, let alone an upper-lip warmer like Obama's? (Richard Nixon's soul-patch doesn't count.)
Sure, we're all familiar with the facial-hair heroics of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant (great beards), but this nation has a great tradition of mustachioed presidents, too. From 1881 to 1913, our commanders-in-chief all had 'staches (save William McKinley, but look what happened to him). Teddy Roosevelt had a great one, and so did twice-elected Grover Cleveland (pictured left). But sadly, the mustache tradition ended with our 27th president, William Howard Taft. Since then, it's been a facial-hair-free White House.
Until now! Barack Obama has already broken down many barriers ... what's one more? By bringing back the presidential mustache, he'll not only harken back to leaders of the past, but he'll further inspire a new generation of young people to surge to the forefront of facial hair. (He will also sort-of resemble former Mexican president Vicente Fox.)
And that's important, because for too long, this great nation has lagged behind the rest of the world when it comes to lip foliage. Truly, this is change I can believe in.