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Press sec’s new beard bristles Twitter

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Jan. 6, 2014: White House press secretary Jay Carney speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington. (AP)

Must be a slow news day when Jay Carney’s new beard dominates political news on Twitter.

In his first press conference of 2014, the White House’s famous face sported (gasp) facial hair -- which, by the way, he says his wife, ABC’s Claire Shipman, “likes.”

The punditocracy – on both sides of the aisle -- couldn’t get enough of Whiskergate.

Even White House photographer Pete Souza chronicles the event for posterity.

So much for his comments about Iraq, it’s all about the fuzz.

See what I mean? It was endless. The Washington Examiner’s Rebecca Berg sent a tweet asking someone to photoshop Carney into the Duck Dynasty gang. Minutes later…

Even a sarcastic plea from Commentary’s John Podhoretz couldn’t stem the tide.

It took all of a few minutes for a new Twitter handle to be born.

And for his friends at the White House to join in the heckling.

The only person with any real sense about this non story is Josh Barro, politics writer for Business Insider.

Apparently not.

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It was supposed to be a quick hop back to work from vacation to get to floor in time for a vote. Instead, Lindsey Graham had quite a scare on his way to DC – read it firsthand from his personal Twitter account:

Time’s Zeke Miller gets extra points for finding and tweeting the jet’s Live Flight Tracker map.

***

Liz Cheney is hanging up her campaign spurs. She’s called off her race for Wyoming senator citing unspecified "serious health issues" in her family.

The onetime Fox News contributor has a daughter with Type 1 diabetes. No word on whether Liz’s very public spat with her gay sister, Mary, about Liz’s stance against gay marriage, played into her decision.

While her opponent, Mike Enzi, kept quiet on Twitter, he told reporters he wishes her well.

Even former Senator Alan Simpson, not exactly a fan of Cheney’s, had kind words:

Not everyone was so generous. “Wyoming’s Own” Super Pac co-founder, Bill Cubin, tells Talking Points Memo that Cheney faced an impossible task. 

Oh, and in the same breath, Cubin says combine her withdrawal with the Denver Broncos winning the Super Bowl, and “You couldn’t get a better start to the year."

Man, politics is rough.

Watch Lauren every Sunday on #MediaBuzz at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET. If you’d like to recommend your favorite political tweets, email laurenashburnFNC@yahoo.com or send her a tweet @laurenashburn with the hashtag #TwitterTalk.

Lauren Ashburn joined the network in 2013 and currently serves as a Washington-based contributor for FOX News Channel (FNC). On MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz, Ashburn contributes commentary on the state of the news media shaping current events, their role in politics, cultures, business, and tech. Click here for more information on Lauren Ashburn