SALT LAKE CITY — Howard Schultz, the chairman emeritus of Starbucks, is running for president.
Over the weekend, the former Starbucks head announced he would consider an independent presidential run with independent funding.
Democrats felt uneasy with Shultz’s decision to run since many think his candidacy will draw interest from liberals and hand the presidential election to President Donald Trump in 2020, according to The Associated Press.
- "For somebody who is professing to be a lifelong Democrat, I think to be running as in independent in this particular cycle is not a wise thing to do," said Tina Podlodowski, the Democratic Party chairwoman in Washington state.
Trump reacted to the news with his own tweet against Shultz.
- "Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the 'smartest person,'" Trump wrote. "Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!"
We’ve collected a number of opinion pieces and reactions to Shultz’s planned run for you.
Michelle Goldberg, opinion columnist for The New York Times, asks Shultz not to run for president.
- “Even if there were a latent constituency of modern Rockefeller Republicans longing for the leadership of an enlightened plutocrat, third-party presidential campaigns are terrible vehicles for building political power. America’s two-party system, unfortunate as it is, is an inevitable result of the winner-take-all nature of our elections. It cannot simply be wished away.”
Historians told CNN that Shultz could hand Trump the election.
- “If Schultz's goal is breaking free of the polarized politics of the Trump presidency, he should understand that his independent candidacy could wind up prolonging it. If the President were to win re-election in a cluttered campaign field, he and his party would surely take it as a sign of re-affirmation and double down on a radical agenda that would advance a number of right-wing proposals that Schultz claims to oppose.”
The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson took the position of most Democrats, saying Shultz would hand Trump the presidency.
- “Schultz seems to be an honorable and decent guy, and I have nothing against him. But I most certainly will if he saddles the nation with four more years of Trump’s racism, xenophobia, misogyny, ignorance, dishonesty and incompetence.”
David Leonhardt of The New York Times wrote that Trump is more of a fringe candidate that upsets the political order than Schultz.
- “Schultz is correct that there may be room in American politics for a candidate who doesn’t line up neatly with the two parties. But we already knew that. Just consider the last businessman-turned-candidate who vowed to change politics,” he wrote. “... Obviously, I’m not at all happy about Trump’s presidency. But he is much closer to the median voter than Schultz is. Schultz’s version of that voter is a fantasy.”
Damon Linker writes for The Weekthat Shultz’s belief that he is a centrist is misplaced and could easily fool potential voters.
- “Centrism can be defined in one of two ways. Either it's a blending of distinct and seemingly antagonistic ideological views into a synthesis poised between them — or it means staking out an overlapping consensus in public opinion,” he wrote. “Neither describes Schultz. He's a Democrat who wants Democrats to be less ambitious, to trim their sails, to stop making policy promises premised on raising taxes on people like him.”
The Washington Post columnist Jena McGregor says that Shultz’s presidency will put Starbucks on the ballot, too.
- “Experts on brand reputation were divided on how much risk Starbucks actually faces. Schultz’s leadership of the company is almost certain to come under greater scrutiny, questions about his motivation for running could get intermingled with Starbucks' image, and its outsize reputation as a progressive employer could suffer bruises if stories were to emerge from disgruntled employees who get a bigger platform to air any grievances.”
Colin Reed of Fox News opines that there’s a connection between Shultz, Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — they all represent the united front by Democrats to get Trump out of office.6 comments on this story
- “Schultz also decried ‘revenge politics,’ but revenge is exactly what many of the anti-Trump voters are feeling right now. They still don’t understand how he won. They are divided on almost everything — except their desire to get Trump out of office,” he wrote. “For Schultz 2020, the early reviews haven’t been great. And the long-term outlook isn’t much better.”
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Schultz would be a “gift from God” to President Trump.
- “This was such a bad week for Donald Trump with the Stone indictment, with the shutdown. Howard Schultz is a gift from God to him,” he said. He added, “These guys, they’re billionaires so they think they can do anything, and one thing he could do is hand the re-election to Donald Trump and now he has support from Bill Burton.”