Decorated war vet Pete Hegseth seeking GOP endorsement to challenge Klobuchar [VIDEO]
|Though just 31, Hegseth has appeared on national cable news for the past half-decade.|
The Hill cites Hegseth's national fundraising network from his time running hawkish foreign policy group Vets for Freedom, his speaking skills, and his status as a bronze star-winning veteran as assets that could make life more difficult for Klobuchar this fall than she previously imagined.
Hegseth joins a GOP field that includes former state Rep. Dan Severson, Harold Shudlick and Bob Carney. But as The Hill notes, those three haven't "shown any life in fundraising numbers or on the campaign trail."
Hegseth, 31, recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, where he taught counter-insurgency tactics. He's also served in Iraq, so he has a lot of military experience for someone just a year older than the senate's minimum age.
He was born in Forest Lake, attended college at Princeton, and now lives in Stillwater. Hegseth made a name for himself appearing on cable news shows in his position at executive director of Vets for Freedom to speak out on behalf of the 2007 Iraq troop surge and later against calls to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
In a campaign kick-off video posted on YouTube, Hegseth criticizes Klobuchar along familiar GOP lines -- he supports lower taxes and regulations on small businesses, is concerned about the U.S.'s massive debt, and opposes government-run health care.
Hegseth has good looks, polished speaking skills, an impressive resume, and should be able to fundraise effectively. But he still faces an uphill battle in his effort to unseat Klobuchar. In a poll released in late January, Public Policy Polling characterized Klobuchar as "close to unbeatable." The poll found that she has a 61 percent approval rating among Minnesotans, with only 28 percent of voters disapproving of her. Only five sitting senators have higher approval numbers.
Here's Pete Hegseth's campaign kick-off video: