March 21, 2008
Bill Richardson's Facial Hair
Posted by Gordon Smith

Last month, at the Wisconsin Contracts Conference, a few of us independently concluded that Bill Richardson would be the VP choice for Barak Obama, when it came to that. Richardson's endorsement of Obama today strengthens my suspicion that this is the direction the campaign is heading.

Change? Richardson is a Washington insider, but he is also Hispanic. Change enough, I suspect.

But if that weren't enough, how about the beard?


Richardson could be the first Vice President with facial hair since Charles Curtis (Herbert Hoover, 1929-33), who also happened to be the first and only Native American Vice President ...


Based on my extensive research, the last VP to have a beard was Charles Fairbanks (Theodore Roosevelt, 1905-09).


Lots of people are commenting on Richardson's beard, but I hope to become the definitive link on this VP research. Otherwise, I just wasted ten minutes of my life.

UPDATE: Ok, I just couldn't give up until I found a VP with more than a goatee. Levi Morton (Benjamin Harrison, 1889-93) sometimes sported mutton chops:


Then there's Schuyler Colfax (Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1873), who has a beard, but no mustache:


To get a Vice President with a full beard and mustache, you have to go all the way back to George Clinton (James Madison (George Clinton, 1809-1812):

see below the fold for his magnificent photo ...


Haha! I couldn't resist. I had a couple of Parliament albums when I was a teenager, and this brought back the memories. The VP George Clinton did not have a beard:


So in the end, Richardson really could have a claim as the first Vice President with a full beard. I think he should definitely play that up.

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