Fox News panel ponders significance of Richardson's beard

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

While discussing on Fox News' The Live Desk New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama, Philadelphia radio host Dom Giordano said of Richardson's beard: "I don't know if it's playing into the ethnic card, or whatever." Host Martha MacCallum stated, "[Richardson] said, you know, 'It's hard for me,' he said to me once, 'people don't even know I'm Hispanic,' " and then asked, "So is that part of what he is ... cultivating here?" Giordano replied, "I think so."

On the March 24 edition of Fox News' The Live Desk, during a panel discussion of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama, Philadelphia radio host Dom Giordano referred to Richardson's beard, and said, "Yeah, he looks better with it. I don't know if it's playing into the ethnic card, or whatever." Host Martha MacCallum then stated, "Because he said, you know, he also is -- I think he's the son of an American-born man and a Mexican-born woman, which is, you know -- I guess he shares that in some ways with Barack Obama's background. So he said, you know, 'It's hard for me,' he said to me once, 'people don't even know I'm Hispanic.' " She then asked, "So is that part of what he is ... cultivating here?" Giordano replied, "I think so."

In addition to MacCallum and Giordano, Democratic strategist Marissa Shorenstein offered her own theory to explain why Richardson and former Vice President Al Gore grew beards: "I will say that after Al Gore lost his election, he also grew a beard. And I think it has to do with being sort of macho and wanting to feel like a man after you've lost something." Later, after MacCallum and Giordano's comments, Shorenstein said of Richardson: " He's tan -- that's why he looks more Hispanic. I mean, it's not because of the beard.

From the March 24 edition of Fox News' The Live Desk:

GRIFF JENKINS (Fox News producer): Doesn't Richardson get credit, though, for saying, "Look, I like this change in politics. I'm signing on with Barack; it's the way I feel, and, you know, I was loyal to the Clintons." Aren't we going to talk about his beard, though?

MacCALLUM: Yeah. I think we have a side-by-side 'cause, I'm -- you know, everybody that I know took a look at him the other day and said, "What's with the beard?"

JENKINS: Yeah.

SHORENSTEIN: I will say that after Al Gore lost his election, he also grew a beard. And I think it has to do with being sort of macho and wanting to feel like a man after you've lost something.

JENKINS: This is the explanation of why Democrat [sic] failed candidates grow beards, but if you look at Gore next to Richardson, Gore's got the gray and it's all natural. Richardson's is dark and grim --

JEANINE PIRRO (Fox News analyst): I think he looks good.

JENKINS: I think he's campaigning to become the spokesman for Today's Man.

MacCALLUM: All right, Jeanine votes yes. Jeanine likes the beard --

PIRRO: I think he looks good. He looks thinner.

GIORDANO: I think he looks better, I'll give you that. Yeah, he looks better with it. I don't know if it's playing into the ethnic card, or whatever. That he's doing that too --

[crosstalk]

MacCALLUM: Because he said, you know, he also is -- I think he's the son of an American-born man and a Mexican-born woman, which is, you know -- I guess he shares that in some ways with Barack Obama's background. So he said, you know, "It's hard for me," he said to me once, "people don't even know I'm Hispanic." So is that part of what he is --

GIORDANO: I think so.

MacCALLUM: --cultivating here?

GIORDANO: I didn't know that he was Hispan -- he doesn't appear to me -- I mean, I know that he is, over the years --

[crosstalk]

SHORENSTEIN: What are you talking about? He doesn't need a beard to look Hispanic.

JENKINS: He just likes the beard.

PIRRO: He looks more Hispanic.

JENKINS: So what do you think?

GIORDANO: Well, OK, he does look more Hispanic.

SHORENSTEIN: He's tan -- that's why he looks more Hispanic. I mean, it's not because of the beard.

[crosstalk]

MacCALLUM: I don't like it. I'm not -- facial hair is just not my thing. I like him clean-shaven.

JENKINS: Marissa?

SHORENSTEIN: I don't like anyone with a beard.

JENKINS: I'm your guy. Jeanine?

PIRRO: Women or men with a beard, it's not good.

JENKINS: No facial hair. There you go.

MacCALLUM: All right, we'll take this conversation to the break, I suspect, and we'll be right back.

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