Washington (CNN) – White House Press Secretary Jay Carney emerged in the daily press briefing Friday with a fresh look: His recent beard was gone.
"The time had come to shave. Here I am, the old me," Carney said to amused reporters.
He said he shaved it himself at home Thursday morning for a couple of reasons. First, he jokingly said the rumor was that ABC's Ann Compton had a bet that he would be clean-shaven before Tuesday's State of the Union speech and he didn't want Compton to lose money.
He also said that President Obama's chief speechwriter, Cody Keenan, who recently grew a full beard, is a "daily reminder of the insufficiency of my efforts."
Carney originally debuted the new stubble in early January during his first briefing of the New Year. He joked at the time that his facial hair was in homage to long-time bearded CBS News' Mark Knoller.