Behind the Ad: Obamacare bad! Right? (#MN8thCD)

300px-United_States_House_of_Representatives,_Minnesota_District_8_mapWho: The Stewart Mills (R) campaign
 
Where: Minnesota 8th Congressional District (Duluth and the Twin Cities)
 
What: The incumbent in the MN-8th CD is Democrat Rick Nolan, who interestingly took a 32-year break from Congress before coming back in 2012 to knock off GOP Rep. Chip Cravaak. Cravaak had defeated Jim Oberstar (D) in 2010 in that terrible, awful, no good midterm year for Democrats.
 
This time around, Stewart Mills (R) will be going up against Nolan to attempt to regain the seat for the Republicans. The GOP is quite excited by this as Mills is part of the Upper Midwest retail chain Mills Fleet Farm.
 
As per the Cook Political Report:
 

Mills not only potentially brings personal wealth to the table, but is a very well-known businessman with a proven ability to gain attention and a following: in January 2013, amid the gun debate, he posted a video demonstrating why a duck hunting shotgun was “more dangerous” than a semi-automatic rifle, and it subsequently got nearly 300,000 views.

Republicans hope to make this race something of a culture clash, framing Nolan as siding with “big city liberals” like President Obama (who took just 52 percent here in 2012) against a successful local businessman who stands up for the 2nd Amendment and “Iron Range values.”

Despite the fact that Mills is worth many, many millions, the ad shows him as a good ol’ boy beginning his career in the family business stocking shelves and mopping floors.
 
As Daily Kos notes:
 

Mills now owns a share of the company worth as much as $150 million, so he’ll have some work to do selling this image. Mills goes on to say  [in the ad] he “run[s] the healthcare program for thousands of our employees and their families,” so every day, he claims, he sees “how Obamacare is hurting small business and the middle class.

Fleet Farm, Kos adds,  is not in any way a small business, and “the Affordable Care Act mostly affects people who don’t have employer-based insurance coverage, so what exactly is Mills talking about?”
 
What indeed. 
 
Grade: This district is generally rated as a toss-up, especially in a midterm year, and having gone back and forth a few times recently. As for the ad, it’s not a primary ad in a deeply red state where simply saying “Obamacare bad” will do the job. I know it’s only one spot, but Republicans might want to think about diversifying their message in competitive races. They may also want to take a moment or two to explain why they think Obamacare is bad.  Enlighten us. On optics, Mills seem like one gnarly dude for a Republican, despite the fact that Nolan is supposed to be the one who doesn’t fit in locally? On the other hand,  Mills goes by Stewart Mills III, so perhaps he and Thurston Howell would fit in fine in today’s GOP.  C-
 
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