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John Lamb, Published January 24 2012

Lamb: Grow a ’stache and get your Taft on

Between last night’s State of the Union Address and the primaries in South Carolina and Florida, there has been a lot of talk about just what makes someone presidential.

But there’s one characteristic I’m not seeing in anyone seeking the office – facial hair.

These days there’s not a lot of trust in mustachioed men or bearded buds. Some think that anyone with facial follicles has something to hide or that it’s a fashion accessory, pairing well with skinny jeans – which don’t hide much of anything.

But things may be changing. This week, Disney theme parks allowed employees to wear neatly kept goatees and beards. Huzzah!

Finally they can hire “real” bearded dwarves to protect Snow White. This is the Magical Kingdom’s most progressive dress code update since it allowed female employees to wear skirts without pantyhose two years ago.

Along with Disney’s relaxed rules, a big mustache from the past may be changing the face of contemporary politics.

William Howard Taft, the 27th president and last whiskered man in the White House (1909-13), wants another shot at the Oval Office. At least that’s the plot of Jason Heller’s new novel, “Taft 2012.”

In the book, the 154-year-old Taft appears in today’s time perfectly preserved and finds a new lease on political life with support from candidates to let it grow.

E Ron Paul has to do something to appeal to the youth vote, so maybe he could sport a soul patch or an ironic hipster-stache.

E With a full white beard to match his powdery head of hair, Newt Gingrich could soften his sour puss. Plus, the look plays into his other job – no, not lobbyist, but, rather, historical fiction writer.

E Rick Santorum should also grow a beard, but for different reasons. The Bible beater won Iowa in a sweater vest, so why not go even more old fashioned – or actually just Old Testament. Grow a big beard, as the Good Book instructs. Though as far as commandments go, Santorum should re-read the “Love thy neighbor” one.

E Between Romney’s hair and smile, you just can’t disguise what a smooth operator he is. His best option: grow a mustache/goatee combo and at least look like a pro sports coach.

Speaking of sports, I think even President Obama could get a good bounce if he copied the mutton chop/mustache style of his Chicago Bulls homeboy Artis Gilmore.

Politicians like to talk about traditional values. Well, what’s more traditional than mustachioed leaders?

Just ask “Big Bill” Taft.


Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533conservatives and liberals.

What’s not to like?

Certainly not the mustache. Taft’s facial hair was so well-kept he could get a job at Disneyland, so why not the White House?

All of which might prompt today’s