Randy Bryce was the original cool candidate of 2018.
He releases campaign ads that go viral. He sits down one-on-one with Bernie Sanders to talk about socialism. He has a mustache, a blue-collar background, and a cool nickname — IronStache.
All of this points to one unmistakable fact. Southeast Wisconsin isn’t enough for the Democrat running to take the seat Speaker Paul Ryan will soon vacate. Bryce is running a national campaign. This contrasts with his Republican opponent, Bryan Steil, who just released his third campaign ad which is, well to be honest, a little boring.
[How Obama could help Randy Bryce win Paul Ryan's old seat]
He sits down with youths, and he eats hot dogs at picnics, and he walks around factory floors in the most generic of television ads. It isn’t glamorous, and it certainly isn’t sexy. But this is probably by design, because Steil understands the district. He is the hand-picked successor to Paul Ryan.
Boring might just work, because this isn’t Brooklyn. Steil isn’t trying to unite the workers of the world in Wisconsin. He is trying to keep a good thing going in a state where unemployment has dipped beneath 3 percent and where the economy keeps on humming.
While Bryce wants to run a big ticket campaign, Steil seems more comfortable running a local one. Maybe that is a little too low-key for national press, but it looks like it will work in Wisconsin.