Once thought safe with an Election Day victory, David Axelrod's mustache has been moved back to the tossup column.
President Barack Obama's senior strategist said Thursday that he would shave his mustache on live television if he can raise $1 million for epilepsy research by Nov. 30. Axelrod has sported the Chevron-style 'stache for the past four decades.
Axelrod's facial hair served as campaign fodder late last month after he vowed to shave it on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" if the president lost Pennsylvania, Minnesota or Michigan. With those states going decidedly blue this week, Axelrod again put his mustache on the line in an effort to raise money for the Chicago-based Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy.
"I only regret that I have but one mustache to give to the cause of epilepsy research," Axelrod said through a spokesman.
Axelrod's wife, Susan, helped establish the organization in 1998 to promote research and education about the disease. Their daughter, Lauren, has epilepsy.
The organization raised nearly $70,000 in the first five hours after Axelrod announced his wager. In a message posted on the organization's website, Susan Axelrod said that she has never seen her husband's face without a mustache.
"So, all of you out there who are excited to see him sans 'stache ... think about how I feel!" she wrote.
Donations can be made at slashthestache.com.
Axelrod, who advised Obama during both his presidential campaigns, has said he's leaving politics. The University of Chicago announced in January that he will become director of the school's new Institute of Politics in 2013.
— Stacy St. Clair