When Stewart Mills was interviewed by Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade and Elizabeth Hasselbeck, he was asked if he minded being called the GOP's Brad Pitt. Mills replied he didn't mind the comparison even though he's strictly from the business world.
Here's the first substantive point Mills made in the interview:
STEWART MILLS: I'm also the plan administrator of our company's self-insured health plan. I've seen firsthand that Obamacare has hurt a lot of people. It's a disaster.
Rick Nolan is facing a real fight. Mills is knowledgeable, persistent and likable. Thus far, Nolan's campaign has tried characterizing Mills as an evil 1-percenter, a man who only looks out for rich people. That tactic won't work because a) Mills Fleet Farm is about as blue collar of a retail outlet as you'll find and b) Stewart Mills doesn't come across as being particularly worried about the 1-percent.
Nolan is a one-trick pony as a campaigner. He knows slash-and-burn politicking, which won't work because Stewart Mills is likable. Part of Mills' likability stems from what he calls Mills hunting camp rules:
STEWART MILLS: The 'hunting camp doctrine', yes. People ask me if it's real. Yes. The first time I went hunting with my dad, I complained about the food. He took me aside and said "Let me tell you how this works. If you complain about the food, you get the job to be the cook. So that's the 'hunting camp doctrine.' If you complain about something, you get the job to fix it and I've been complaining about our abnormally high unemployment in our part of Minnesota and also what Obamacare is doing, not only to self-insured plans like our's, but also to the health care market at large. In the Eighth District, our part of Minnesota, we've had approximately a 30% increase in the individual marketplace for health insurance.
Slash-and-burn campaigns don't work against substantive candidates, which Mills definitely is. That does't guarantee a Mill victory because Minnesota's Eighth District has a history of voting for Democrats. Still, Mills is well-funded and he's got an appealing message.
Meanwhile, Nolan suffers from a gravitas deficit. Clearly, Nolan is an old-fashioned politician who isn't known for being capable of adjusting to the needs of the campaign. It won't be that difficult for Republicans to paint him as a slick career politician who will say anything to get elected.