A political bet turns into bipartisan baldness
November 24th, 2012
12:37 PM ET
7 years ago

A political bet turns into bipartisan baldness

(CNN) – Two party rivals who often go head-to-head are now going bald-—together.

Top spokesmen for the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee agreed to shave their heads on live television Sunday in a show of bipartisan support for charity.

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The arrangement originated from an Election Day bet proposed by Brad Woodhouse, communications director for the DNC. On Twitter, Woodhouse asked Sean Spicer, his counterpart at the RNC, if he wanted "to get in on this hair betting thing,” referring to Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod's vow to ditch his trademark moustache if the president lost certain key states.

"Election loser allows the winner to shave his head on the air? You in?" Woodhouse wrote.

Moments later, he again posed the challenge.

"Hearing crickets from you so far," Woodhouse wrote to Spicer. "My locks versus yours."

Not long after that, the game was on. Spicer simply replied: "I am in."

The race was called for Obama about 12 hours later, meaning Spicer was to take to the shears.

Ultimately, however, the counterparts reached a decision to both shed their dos to raise money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a volunteer-driven organization that fundraises for childhood cancer research. When he learned about the group, Woodhouse pitched to Spicer that they both shave and use their wager to help children.

“From the beginning I kind of knew when push came to shove I was going to shave my head, too. I think too highly of Sean to make him do that by himself,” Woodhouse said Saturday in an email. “Really glad we could also do it for a good cause.”

While they both decided to take part in the shave-off, the competition still continued, as the contest turned into a fundraising challenge. They pledged to raise a combined $12,000 and actively courted donations on Twitter in the weeks following the election.

"Politics is full of fierce partisans, but despite how strong you believe in your side, you can still be a good person," Spicer said in an email. "Hopefully the efforts we have worked together on demonstrate that two committed partisans can always channel their talent and energy in areas of common good."

He pointed to their joint effort last year in raising $60,000 in support of military press secretaries serving in Afghanistan. Woodhouse and Spicer, who acknowledge their unlikely friendship, co-hosted a fundraising event on Capitol Hill titled: “Flacks for Flacks Who Wear Flak Jackets.”

This year, one defined by an intense, heated presidential election, they managed to turn their rivalry into a competition to battle cancer. The two will make good on the bet Sunday morning on ABC's "This Week."

As of Saturday, the St. Baldrick’s website showed the two spokesmen were near their goal, with $9,375 raised.

Some on Twitter, however, have cheekily argued the move may not be the best idea for the two men, citing concerns about their hair refusing to grow back. But the spokesmen seem unfazed by the idea.

“I have awesome hair and it's safe,” Woodhouse tweeted to one critic.

Spicer, weighing in on Saturday, said ever since they announced the bet, they have “heard the most amazing stories of perseverance from families with children dealing with this.”

“The last thing I am worried about is hair growth,” he continued. “And honestly I look better than Brad without hair.”

Filed under: 2012 • DNC • Fundraising • RNC
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist should try it !

    He looks like he could use a shave as well.

    November 24, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Squigman

    I hope they don't commit themselves to too much activity. They (both parties), seem to have forgotten that they work for the good of the nation, not the good of a party. The sad truth is, the people that voted them in are guilty of the same laziness. A good cause is a good cause, but let's see them do something that benefits the common person, without creating fanfare for their actions. Wonder if they'd participate if the media were to disappear.

    November 24, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. CBP

    Perhaps a number of the members of the House and Senate could do the same thing for other charities. I would ceratinly be willing to contribute to one hair-off contest. Just think of the money that could be raised and perhaps those who gave so much to the political PACS would be willing to pitch in.

    November 24, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |