- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 19, 2008

C-SPAN viewers likely did a double-take Wednesday when the usually clean-shaven Sen John E. Sununu of New Hampshire appeared on the Senate floor sporting a relatively full goatee.

The new look might be a reflection of the fact that Mr. Sununu, a Republican, lost his re-election bid Nov. 4 to New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, and will not need to appear senatorial after the congressional lame-duck session ends in the next couple of days.

Mr. Sununu was on the floor for the traditional valedictory tributes given to departing senators by their colleagues.

Those same C-SPAN viewers might have done a triple-take when Mr. Sununu came back on the floor just a half-hour later to talk about congressional efforts to rescue the auto industry. The goatee, mysteriously, was gone.

The facial hair style appears to be something of a minor trend for departing Republican senators.

Retiring Sen. Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico adopted the round-the-mouth beard look earlier this summer, after announcing he would not return for a seventh term.

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