The key to likability was there all along, hiding in plain sight for Ted Cruz, Texas' junior senator. Turns out, he didn't need to be a fan of The Simpsons, country music or The Princess Bride in order to convince people that he wasn't a time-traveling serial killer doing his best to infiltrate the highest levels of power. All Cruz had to do was grow a beard, as he started doing in November, and suddenly the press and everyone else is eating out of his hand.
Local media love the damn thing.
So do pollsters and state legislators.
Big-time, national investigative journalists betrayed their objectivity just to tell everyone how handsome the former presidential candidate has been looking during the lame duck session.
As is required for any political ephemera, Slate chimed in with a think piece. (Cruz's beard is "semi-hot," Christina Cauterucci opined.)
People seriously can't get enough of this thing.
The Observer news vertical really doesn't know what to make of the whole thing. We're partial to our own beards, sure, but that has more to do with force of habit and general laziness than anything else. Looking for a second opinion, we polled Paige Skinner, our arts and music editor and admitted bearded-dude fan, for her thoughts on Cruz's scruff.
"You can't make Ted Cruz hot, but the beard helps," she told us. "I can't get the GIF of him eating whatever it is fell out of his nose out of my head, though."