Can a Man With a Mustache Be President?

U.N. ambassador John Bolton is considering a presidential run. Will his large, comical, Mark-Twain-esque mustache hold him back?

The Wall Street Journal reports that former U.N. ambassador John Bolton is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Sadly, the WSJ notes, Bolton has one huge strike against him: a large, comical, Mark-Twain-esque mustache.

Only the first two presidents of the 20th century sported facial hair (Roosevelt and Taft), and since then no presidents and only one presidential candidate has had any. That was Thomas Dewey and he lost twice to FDR. Only one current senator has any facial hair, and that is interim Illinois senator Roland Burris who was appointed under shady circumstances by Rod Blagojevich. Not the best mustache standard bearer. The WSJ estimates that 41 current members of the House have mustaches or beards (including Henry Waxman's amazing example), but that might just prove that anyone can get elected to the House.

In all, there is not a good mustache track record for Bolton to try to run on. And why don't we like mustaches on our leaders? It's pretty simple, say some researchers: Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein.