OLD TOWN – Noticing how liberal politicians can earn universal popularity in Maine as long as they use facial hair to forge a dignified, old-fashioned masculine ethos, Senate candidate Matthew Dunlap (D-Old Town) has decided to let loose his lip hair.
A recent Sardine Report poll indicates that Maine voters prefer candidates with facial hair by a 2-to-1 margin, even if they have a record of dumping millions of dollars into pointless left-wing causes like green energy and education.
Dunlap, the former Secretary of State under Gov. John Baldacci, has some characteristics that could appeal to swing voters, especially in rural areas. He is an avid outdoorsman, and once served as Director of the Sportsmen’s Alliance of Maine. But he says no one believes any of that because he is clean-shaven, bald, and wears glasses.
“It definitely is a disadvantage to look like I just graduated from Poindexter University with a degree in accounting,” admitted Dunlap. “I’ve even tried wearing orange flannel jackets and stuff, but people just assume I’m aspiring to be a lion tamer or something.”
Noting that Maine is the oldest state in the nation, the 47-year-old former state legislator is opting for the handlebar style of mustache that was popular about 100 years ago. “In Maine it didn’t go out of style until around 1980,” he explains.
Dunlap said he is also thinking of leaving the Democratic party and declaring himself an Independent, just to reinforce the idea that he is His Own Man. However, he is not independently wealthy, so it would be difficult for him to compete without backing from out-of-state special interests.
Other anticipated Democratic candidates for Olympia Snowe’s soon-to-be vacant Senate seat, including John Baldacci and Chellie Pingree, have already won statewide elections without facial hair, “but they have never had to face the mustachioed marvel!” said Dunlap.
The last Maine politician to win an election using facial hair was Susan Collins, who briefly grew a mustache during her 2008 campaign.