Shapeless. Halfhearted. Diffident. Slipping. Unconvincing in the harsh light of the national stage. Observers may say these things about Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign. But no one can say these things about Marco Rubio’s hair.

Marco Rubio’s hair is one of the most underappreciated plot lines of this 2016 campaign, and one of the most impressive accomplishments in the entire presidential field. It has come a long way since Rubio’s first big national appearance, when he delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address.

In the popular imagination, the young senator’s performance that night was defined by his frantic mid-speech gulping of water. But the seasoned political eye detected a more meaningful desperation that night: If Rubio’s star was supposed to be rising, his hairline was clearly rising faster.

For all his touted youthfulness, Rubio had a middle-aged man’s thinning underway. By the look of it, he had one election cycle left, at most, before his forehead would reach his crown.

Here is Rubio’s hairline addressing the Values Voter Summit in 2013:

Under the circumstances, Rubio’s decision to make his push for the presidency in 2016 made perfect sense. But something has happened in the 26 months since that photograph was taken. Here is Rubio’s hairline onstage at the last debate:

What was weak is now strong. What was in retreat is now, against the odds, apparently advancing. Where Donald Trump has spent his entire adult life wrapping his scalp in failure and humiliation, Marco Rubio has made a triumphant stand. Donald Trump is a loser weirdo. Marco Rubio’s hair is fit for the presidency.

Photos via Getty; screencap via YouTube. Contact the author at