The Corner

Politics & Policy

What Is Paul Ryan Thinking?

What is Paul Ryan thinking?

The newly minted speaker of the House is now two heartbeats away from the Oval Office. The 45-year-old Wisconsin Republican leads a comfortable, 28-seat majority of 246 GOP members versus 188 in the Democrat opposition. He also is considered one of the handsomest gentlemen in public affairs today.

So, why wreck all that with a beard?

According to the House’s Office of the Historian, Ryan is the first bearded speaker since Frederick Huntington Gillett (R., Mass.), who left that position for the U.S. Senate in 1925.

If Ryan thinks that he needs a hairy face to look fresh and hip (perhaps to impress younger voters), he should look no further than the last two hosts of Saturday Night Live.

Chris Hemsworth — the 32-year-old Australian actor and star of director Ron Howard’s just-released whale tale, In the Heart of the Sea — hosted SNL two nights ago. He strode out for his monologue — perfectly shaved.

A week earlier, Ryan Gosling headlined the show. The Academy Award nominee is celebrated universally as one of the best-looking men alive. As a successful actor and movie star, the 35-year-old defines youthful cool.

Two Saturdays ago, Gosling performed his monologue in a crisp jacket, stylish tie, and a completely smooth face. His grooming was first rate. He looked as if he had shaved just before going on air.

Ryan leads all day long. However, on this matter, he should follow — Specifically Hemsworth and Gosling’s example.

Meanwhile, if Paul Ryan wants to appeal to millennials, here’s what he should do: Make it easier for millions of them to escape their parents’ basements, find jobs, and keep them.


Grow the economy, not facial hair.

Cut taxes, as well as whiskers.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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