I employ the quotation marks because when Ryan claimed with great ceremony that he was the first Speaker in a century to “sport a beard,” his facial hair was the equivalent of Jon Hamm’s 11am shadow. That didn’t stop conservative haters on Twitter from dubbing Ryan’s whiskers a “Muslim beard,” which actually gave him something to laugh about with Obama.

In reality, Ryan’s facial hair, which was more deer-season-scruff than sleeper-agent-chic, was barely a beard. One Quartz political reporter wondered whether the whiskers’ abbreviated length was due to personal taste or natural limitations. (“Was that the best he could do?”) Perhaps now we’ll never know.

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