Howard Schultz as President? The Starbucks CEO/founder and coffee magnate announced he may be running. But as a life long Democrat and strong supporter of Hillary Clinton in 2016 and vocal opponent of Donald Trump, however, why are Democrats terrified of him, rushing to oppose him as fast as possible?
Schultz, who created one of the world’s most loved brands, and tapped into our collective caffeine obsession officially retired from Starbucks in 2018. The renown CEO isn’t a stranger for finding a way to inject himself into current trends and political opinions, creating a little controversy in the process. Schultz Race Together campaign asked Baristas to talk about race, his effort to hire 10,000 refugees was supposedly directed at Trump, he attempted to make all Starbucks gun free zones, removal of Merry Christmas from their cups, and in response to two black men being arrested in one of their stores, Starbucks opened up restrooms to the public, customers or not.
In almost every case, he caters to issues that are central talking points of Democrats, so you’d think him running as President would be a good thing. But that’s not what’s happening and there are some obvious, but also non-obvious reasons why.
Obvious Reasons Democrats Fear Howard Schultz as President
Democrats shouldn’t be surprised he’s considering a run. Ever since stepping down from Starbucks, rumors of Howard Schultz as President started to focus on a possible presidential bid. But even though he has long been a supporter of the Democrat party, things started to shift as the party kept sliding farther and farther left. Speaking to CNBC Schultz stated “It concerns me that so many voices within the Democratic Party are going so far to the left. […] How are we going to pay for these things, in terms of things like single payer [and] people espousing the fact that the government is going to give everyone a job. I don’t think that’s realistic.”
And he hasn’t changed his position, still publicly commenting his disappointment in his own party, questioning socialist congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s extremely high tax plans on wealthy people.
Schultz has said the major reason for his possible third-party candidacy is that most Americans don’t agree with the extremes of both parties that currently control the political debate. That’s probably why Schultz has chosen to run as what he calls an “independent centrist” which is also a big reason Democrats pounced.
As the left leans more left than a V8 commercial, Schultz believes he can provide an alternative to American voters who don’t align. But he also believes the right and GOP have alienated voters as well, allowing him to sway a large number of them as well. And his policies do tend to attract voters from both sides. Schultz primary reason for running is debt and deficit reduction. “the greatest threat domestically to the country . . . hanging over the cloud of America and future generations.” Schultz said. The way he will do that that however is an area the left has left alone. Reforming social security and Medicare.
“We have to go after entitlements,” Schultz has said. “ . . . It’s not about redistribution, it’s about facing these hard truths and dealing with significant problems.” This didn’t sit well with Democrats that campaign on increasing these programs, like Harris and Warren.
Generally speaking, Democrats don’t oppose the idea of Howard Schultz as President, but DNC leadership is certainly trying to change that and turn them against him. Zac Petkanas, a Democrat strategist and 2016 Hillary Clinton Director of Rapid Response immediately told Democrat to start protesting Schultz at his own book signing, tweeting “PROTEST HOWARD SCHULTZ BOOK SIGNING THIS EVENING…This billionaire cannot be allowed to hand Donald Trump his 2nd term.” Barnes & Noble @ Union Square.
Soon, many media outlets including the dependable leftist propaganda machine, The New York Times took their marching orders quickly with an op headline stating “Howard Schultz Doesn’t Understand American History.” Of course, actually reading the piece the reason Schultz “doesn’t understand American History” is because an independent hasn’t won before — obviously, an idiotic, misleading headline.
Esquire, The Washington Post, and CNN all jumped to attack the idea of Howard Schultz as President as well.
Not So Obvious Reasons Democrats Don’t Want Howard Schultz as President
The obvious reason they are terrified at the idea of Howard Schultz as President, or at least as a candidate, is because he may pull voters away from Democrats. But I think that’s baloney, with him likely pulling GOP voters too. In truth, I think there are some other important reasons Democrats don’t want him to vote that aren’t so obvious.
Democrats Don’t Like Schultz Success and Wealth
Howard Schultz as President is the ultimate self-made success story and that’s a problem for Democrats. The party has long touted that government is the solution to problems and is the reason for success. As the party continues to campaign against billionaires (just look at Petkanas Tweet above) they undermine their credibility if one of the biggest becomes their front runner. They honestly believe the pro-socialism message will work. And it sounds like they are going all in. Harris, Warren have both spoken strongly against rich people, with Ocasio-Cortez even saying “a system that allows billionaires to exist is immoral.”
Democrats Want Control
Howard Schultz as President isn’t good for Democrats because he’s already demonstrated his frustration and lack of allegiance to the party. In the same way, Trump was mercilessly attacked by his own party, Schultz likely faced an onslaught for not bowing to the powers that be. Even if your ideas perfectly align, or at least nearly aligned with the DNC, you have to get in line. It has NOTHING to do with policy and everything to do with party control.
Democrats Don’t Like The Optics
Schultz doesn’t fit the optics necessary to win an election in the mind of the Democrat party. He’s a straight, white guy, and if there is on niche group that has been the center of all party hatred, it’s the straight white guy. Just look at the nominees, they are a woman, a minority or both. Race and gender are party obsessions and they really do believe diversity is their greatest strength. Schultz, no matter how qualified, doesn’t fit that mold.
Democrats Believe Anti-Trump Is Better Than Pro-Anything.
Of all people, Michael Bloomberg, another Presidential hopeful and the DNC’s good boy who knows his place, has an amazing perspective on this. He actually agrees with much of Schultz platform, but still doesn’t want him to run, and this provides a clue. Speaking to The Hill about Medicare for all he said: “I think you could never afford that […] You’re talking about trillions of dollars.”
But Bloomberg still doesn’t want him running. Saying if he runs it will “just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the president.” He actually called it the “anti-Trump” vote, choosing not to focus on pro-anything. 2020 will be an anti-Trump campaign and have nothing to do with ideas.
How Likely Are We To See Howard Schultz as President?
No one can know how likely we are to see Howard Schultz as President, especially after the great data debacle of 2016 with nearly everyone, even much of the GOP stating Hillary Clinton would certainly win. Schultz does align with much of the country.
According to PEW, 70% of American believe the economy is most important, 50% say jobs and 48% say budget deficit, all area’s Schultz would do well on. Even healthcare, with 60% seeing this as the most important issue would likely win him favor, because he’s said he doesn’t want to remove the ACA, but only reform it. In addition, he has a strong history of providing good healthcare for his employees.
As much as he is likely to peel off voters from both sides, running as a fiscal conservative and social liberal, it probably wouldn’t be enough however, that’s why perhaps we even though we won’t see Howard Schultz as President he may have his goals set elsewhere.
Perhaps Schultz ISN’T running for President, instead simply raising his political profile to later run for Senate, Congress, or possibly a VP spot? I guess we will know e-venti-ually. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
Listen to Justin Brady Discuss Why Democrats Are Scared of Howard Schultz
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0