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The effect of a third-party candidate on 2020 election

The effect of a third-party candidate on 2020 election

Postby smix » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:23 am

The effect of a third-party candidate on 2020 election
Abilene Reporter News

URL: https://www.reporternews.com/story/opin ... 744381002/
Category: Politics
Published: February 1, 2019

Description: WASHINGTON -- Billionaire coffee magnate Howard Schultz has two problems: Ross Perot and Ralph Nader. Schultz, a lifelong Democrat, said on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday that he's seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent in 2020. So am I, for that matter. With about, oh, 400 Democrats lining up to run, what's one more? But Schultz, unlike most of us, has billions of dollars — entire galaxies of dollars because: coffee. He also already has hired two big guns of previous presidential campaigns — Bill Burton and Steve Schmidt, of Barack Obama and John McCain fame, respectively. While the media (including this columnist) display a Pavlovian response to the scent of fresh meat, Democrats have been shrieking like cartoon girls when a rat scampers past. Recently, when Schultz was talking at a Manhattan Barnes & Noble to promote his new book, a man in the audience shouted, "Don't help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire!" Whereupon the thought did briefly flicker: Could Schultz and Trump be in cahoots? No. The man did have a point, however -- one shared by countless Democrats. Their fear that a third-party or independent candidate would merely siphon votes from their nominee is not without precedent. In 1992, when Perot led a PowerPoint rebellion running as an independent, he may have helped Bill Clinton defeat incumbent George H.W. Bush. Perot captured almost 19 percent of the popular vote (albeit no electoral votes). Though exit polling indicated that Perot voters were evenly split on their second choice, it's still conceivable that enough would have stuck with the familiar rather than gamble on an Arkansas governor whose slightly curled lip and hip-dipping swagger suggested he hadn't yet fully shed his inner-Elvis (or his ain't-nuthin'-but-a-hound-dog ways). Who knows? But isn't it lovely to ponder what might not have been: Monica Lewinsky. The 750-word columnist is grateful when a single name suffices to summarize an era. An alternative history would have excluded so many familiar names, tropes and at least one Tripp that it's hard to imagine life without: the two-fer presidency, Whitewater, Ken Starr, Bosnia, sniper fire, wag the dog, "Primary Colors" by Anonymous (Joe Klein), the blue dress and, yes, Linda Tripp. Would the world have been better off? At least I could have avoided this conversation about oral sex with my then 8-year-old child: Why, yes, sweetie you may ask me anything. What?! Oh! That, huh? Ummm. Well, it's when people talk about sex a lot. Later, when Nader ran as a Green Party candidate in 2000, he may well have ensured the presidency of George W. Bush. In Florida, where the election ultimately was decided, Nader earned nearly 100,000 votes, a sufficient portion of which almost certainly would have otherwise gone to Al Gore. Bush won by just 537 votes. To the extent that newly elected presidents tend to represent the antithesis of the incumbent, the younger Bush was plainly Clinton's opposite. And, needless to say, Obama was Bush's. Then came Donald Trump, who emerged from central casting as the opposite not only of Obama but of all things decent, fair and true. Who, pray, will be the non-Trump? By all rights, it should be a woman of color to counter Trump's grab-'em-by-the-[whatever] misogyny and his dog-whistling to Jim Crow. California Sen. Kamala Harris would be the obvious choice given those criteria. But as telegenic, experienced and charismatic as she is, Harris' pro-debt-free-college and Medicare-for-all positions would be hard sells in a general election. Enter Schultz. He's richer than Trump; as white as Trump; a man. You see the problem. But he does have antidotal qualities. He's polite, smart, self-made, articulate, calm, rational -- and a centrist like millions of voters. Given that the two major political parties have been rendered ridiculous by their bases -- and 56 percent of Americans say they wouldn't consider voting for Trump, according to a Washington Post poll released Tuesday -- why not a third way? Besides, there's no guarantee he'd attract only Democratic votes. Schultz hasn't declared his candidacy yet, but it would be a mistake to drive him away on the precedents of Perot and Nader, who, let's face it, never had a chance and, thus, indeed, were spoilers. Schultz is also no Michael Bloomberg, the other billionaire independent who has flirted with the presidency. Consider: As New York City mayor, Bloomberg wanted to control soda consumption; Schultz, though no longer CEO of Starbucks, wanted to feed the world high-calorie scones and venti salted caramel mocha lattes — with two pumps of vanilla. It wouldn't be the worst thing.
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Howard Schultz: “I Firmly Believe” Americans Want a President Just Like Me

Postby smix » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:38 am

Howard Schultz: “I Firmly Believe” Americans Want a President Just Like Me
Vanity Fair

URL: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/02 ... st-like-me
Category: Politics
Published: February 19, 2019

Description: Screw the polls—the former Starbucks C.E.O. sees a “credible path” to victory in 2020.

howard-schultz.jpg

Three weeks ago, former Starbucks C.E.O. Howard Schultz announced he was seriously considering running for president on an independent ticket. Since then, virtually everyone who’s been asked about the matter (and some who haven’t!) has insisted it’s a horrible idea, from fellow billionaire Mike Bloomberg to political pundits to New York Times columnists to a heckler in a Manhattan Barnes & Noble who yelled, “You’ll help elect Trump, you billionaire, egotistical asshole.” The response has been so overwhelmingly negative primarily because, to the heckler’s point, a survey determined that an independent run would take enough votes from a Democratic candidate to re-elect Donald Trump, a prospect no sane person wants to even contemplate. Yet, for some reason, Schultz is unbowed! In a letter e-mailed to supporters and published on Medium Monday, the man who unleashed Unicorn Frappuccinos on the masses insisted that the haters telling him not to run simply don’t get it, writing:
I . . . believe critics are ignoring, or failing to acknowledge, the degree to which our two-party system is failing the American people. Polling consistently shows that more than 60 percent of respondents believe our two-party system is broken and that it’s time for a centrist candidate who is unaffiliated with either party to be president. To be very clear, I firmly believe there is an unprecedented appetite for a centrist independent presidential candidate, and that there is a credible path for an independent to win more than the necessary 270 electoral votes — a key criteria in my consideration of whether to run.

In fact, according to Schultz, he’s trying to save the Democratic Party from itself. If left unchecked, he wrote, radical-lefty Dems would be just as—if not more!—likely to hand Trump the presidency on their own:
The stakes are too high to cross our fingers and hope the Democratic Party nominates a moderate who can win over enough independents and disaffected Republicans, and even fellow Democrats, to defeat Trump next year. That any opponent can oust Trump, no matter how far to the radical left they are, is a fallacy. Those so concerned about a centrist independent being a spoiler should perhaps ask another question: Will the eventual Democratic nominee be the party’s own version of a spoiler? Of course, it’s too early to know who the nominee will be. We must let the process play out. And that same standard should apply to a discussion of a possible independent candidacy.

Of course, Schultz double-pinky-swears he won’t be a spoiler, and is “committed to ensuring that I will do nothing to re-elect Donald Trump. I mean it”—a promise that might be a bit more convincing if he weren’t seriously contemplating a run that would almost certainly . . . re-elect Trump. In related news, during a CBS This Morning interview Tuesday to discuss his 2020 bid, Bernie Sanders said Schultz represents everything that’s wrong with our political system, and should stop “blackmailing” the Democratic Party.
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Howard Schultz: Our path

Postby smix » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:28 am

Howard Schultz: Our path
Medium

URL: https://medium.com/@Howardschultz/ourpath-9164e18bdb98
Category: Politics
Published: February 18, 2019

Description: Dear Friends, It’s been three weeks since we began this journey with the launch of my new book on 60 Minutes and the announcement that I am seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent. The reaction has been beyond any expectation I had. Thank you for supporting the book — which is at #3 on Sunday’s New York Times hardcover nonfiction bestseller list — and for the outpouring of interest and support you are demonstrating. Thousands of Americans have reached out — people who want common-sense solutions to the problems we face, people who are frustrated with our broken two-party system, people who want to hear the truth from their leaders, and people among the exhausted majority of Americans who want genuine leadership and cooperation in Washington. They all are seeking to renew the true promise of America. As I’m sure you’ve seen, there have been some skeptical and even downright angry comments from party activists and inside-the-Beltway pundits in the press and on social media. Others have expressed genuine fears that an independent candidate could help re-elect President Trump. I hear and respect this overriding concern, and have repeatedly promised that I will not be a spoiler. I am committed to ensuring that I will do nothing to re-elect Donald Trump. I mean it. In the meantime, I will continue to reach out to Americans who are critical or unsure about an independent candidacy. I have come to feel a deep responsibility and moral obligation to address Americans’ frustrations with our broken two-party system. Forty-five percent of Americans don’t feel well represented by either party. They come from both liberal and conservative points of view, and a substantial number of them simply don’t vote — about 100 million people sat out the 2016 election — or hold their nose and vote for the least-worst option. They deserve a better choice. So, too, do the tens of millions of Americans who don’t live in swing states. Everyone’s vote deserves to count, and they will with a credible, centrist independent on the ballot in all 50 states. The stakes are too high to cross our fingers and hope the Democratic Party nominates a moderate who can win over enough independents and disaffected Republicans, and even fellow Democrats, to defeat Trump next year. That any opponent can oust Trump, no matter how far to the radical left they are, is a fallacy. Those so concerned about a centrist independent being a spoiler should perhaps ask another question: Will the eventual Democratic nominee be the party’s own version of a spoiler? Of course, it’s too early to know who the nominee will be. We must let the process play out. And that same standard should apply to a discussion of a possible independent candidacy. I also believe critics are ignoring, or failing to acknowledge, the degree to which our two-party system is failing the American people. Polling consistently shows that more than 60 percent of respondents believe our two-party system is broken and that it’s time for a centrist candidate who is unaffiliated with either party to be president. To be very clear, I firmly believe there is an unprecedented appetite for a centrist independent presidential candidate, and that there is a credible path for an independent to win more than the necessary 270 electoral votes — a key criteria in my consideration of whether to run. I’ve spoken about how the far right and the far left are holding our government hostage by engaging in revenge politics and preventing sensible solutions to big challenges, such as health care and immigration. The last few days have brought us two more stark examples of the cost of extreme ideologies. The president recklessly declared a national emergency so he can raid the budget for our military to start construction on his foolish and unnecessary border wall. Meanwhile, far-left activists succeeded in forcing Amazon to abandon plans to create a second headquarters in the New York City area, which would have brought 25,000 jobs and injected billions of dollars into the local economy. Where has common sense gone? At each of my public events, I’ve posed a rhetorical question: “What kind of country do we want to live in?” Is this the America we want — not just for us, but for our children and grandchildren. I am also excited by the reception that From the Ground Up has received. People are reading my story and getting to know me in a way much of the media coverage about me has ignored. I’ve had the honor of speaking before packed crowds in New York City, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. over the past three weeks, and this week brings sold-out events in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In the coming weeks, I will lay out my vision for how a centrist independent would govern. I will discuss how we must draw upon the best ideas from all sides, reject revenge politics and assemble an administration that reflects the full diversity of the country, including Democrats, Republicans and independents. I will also share more details about how a centrist independent would address major public policy challenges. Please share this message with your friends who want to dismiss the idea of a third choice. To the activists and political party surrogates who aim to silence me, or miscast my intentions, I’m going to have an honest conversation with the American people about how we can find common ground and address the crisis of governance facing our country. I’m excited to keep the conversation going, and to spend the coming weeks and months traveling our great country, stopping in places large and small, to listen to — and learn from — the American people. My path forward will not be based on partisans or pundits. I will be most influenced by what I see and hear from my fellow citizens across the country. I want to listen to those whose voices have been drowned out or ignored for far too long. As we go on this journey, I promise to keep an open mind, learn and improve, stay in touch, and share what’s happening along the way. We have started a conversation, and it is critically important. With respect and love of country, Howard
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Insiders reveal why Starbucks' former CEO Howard Schultz is willing to ruin his life to run for president

Postby smix » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:19 pm

Insiders reveal why Starbucks' former CEO Howard Schultz is willing to ruin his life to run for president
Business Insider

URL: https://www.businessinsider.com/howard- ... why-2019-2
Category: Politics
Published: February 5, 2019

Description: For years rumors of presidential ambitions have followed Howard Schultz. From Starbucks baristas gossiping on Reddit to his penchant for spearheading progressive social projects, the longtime Starbucks leader's interest in politics is well known. But one question remained: Why would Schultz, a billionaire beloved by most people within the Starbucks community, want to risk erasing much of the goodwill he's built up by running for president? After three decades of leadership at Starbucks, Schultz is in a position where he can make millions of dollars doing whatever he wants. In 2018, Schultz's salary was just $1 at Starbucks, but he received more than $30 million in bonuses, stock, and options. He could have continued to lead Starbucks' social efforts as chairman or invest more time into the Schultz Family Foundation, which works with underserved youth and veterans. Instead, he decided to announce he was "seriously considering" running for president as an independent centrist. At the best of times, a presidential campaign is expensive and exhausting, with candidates surrendering privacy and independence. But by running as an independent, Schultz provoked instant fury from progressives — typically his supporters — because of concerns he would draw more votes away from Democrats than from Republicans, thereby helping reelect President Donald Trump. Schultz said in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" last Wednesday that he did not anticipate the degree of backlash. Even without it, however, a presidential run would be a major departure from his cushy role as Starbucks' chairman. Why, then, did he make the very public announcement and media blitz? Through more than a dozen interviews, as well as from Schultz's own recollections in his newest book, a picture emerges of Schultz as someone who has worked to improve workers' lives, engaging with social issues out of a sense of duty and — at times — a hunch that doing so would be the right business decision. The belief that he has been tasked with improving the world has massively shaped his career, from success at Starbucks to failure with the Seattle SuperSonics. Business Insider granted anonymity to two former Starbucks corporate workers as well as nine in-store employees to allow them to speak frankly without fear of professional repercussions. From these interviews, as well as from those with three other people who have worked with or know Schultz, a common narrative emerged. While Schultz has fought against inequality, he has also repeatedly overestimated his abilities, something these people called a dangerous result of the cocoon of admiration he developed at Starbucks.
Schultz's humble beginnings
Howard Schultz was born in 1953 and raised in a housing project in Brooklyn, New York. His new book, "From the Ground Up," makes it clear that he still carries the weight of several traumatic childhood events, including his grandmother's verbal abuse, constant calls from bill collectors, and his mother's severe depression. Schultz's father, Fred Schultz, is described as an angry and unapproachable parent who struggled to pay the bills. In his book, Schultz recalls an incident in which his father beat him so violently in the shower that Schultz did not attend school for a few days. In "From the Ground Up," Schultz ties his father's shortcomings to trauma stemming from his service in World War II and from economic abandonment by his employer. Fred Schultz was fired from his job as a truck driver without workers' compensation, severance, or health insurance after he broke his hip and ankle on the job. "I never shook off the indelible image of my father immobile on the couch after he slipped on the ice, helpless and abandoned by the company he was working for when the accident occurred," Schultz wrote. "Workers deserved a different relationship to the companies they helped to build, one based on trust, mutual care, and honesty." Schultz seems to have spent years coming to terms with his childhood, drawing from it a conviction that he needed to create a company — or a country — where his father could have succeeded. He was a bit less forthcoming, however, about how his later wealth may have affected his perspective. "I must say that writing about my own experience with money as a wealthy adult is less comfortable for me than writing about life as a child with my struggling father," Schultz wrote. "But like my father, it's part of who I am."
Starbucks' core of progressivism
Schultz attended Northern Michigan University on an athletic scholarship, taking on a series of odd jobs after graduation. When Schultz discovered Starbucks — then a coffee roaster — in the early '80s, he became obsessed with the idea of turning the chain into an Italian espresso bar with European drinks and a strong sense of community. In 1986, Schultz acquired Starbucks, setting out to transform the 17-store chain into an international phenomenon that would fundamentally change how America understood coffee. From the beginning of his time at Starbucks, Schultz faced skepticism. Why would Americans want the experience of an Italian coffee shop? Why did Starbucks need to provide health insurance for part-time employees when few other companies did? And, what the hell was a latté? Schultz pushed for his vision. And, over and over again, his controversial decisions were successful, says the Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn, who has studied Starbucks since the mid-1990s and done extensive interviews with Schultz. "From the beginning, almost from the get-go of when he owned the company, he said, 'We're going to provide health insurance, we're going to provide stock options, we're going to provide career paths into management,'" Koehn said. "That was heresy at the time." Schultz's sticking to his convictions paid off. In 1992, Starbucks went public with fewer than 200 stores and a $250 million valuation. Starbucks hit 1,000 stores in 1996; it reached 10,000 in 2005. At the end of 2018, Starbucks had 29,324 stores around the world and a market cap of $85.6 billion.
'Uncle Howard'

uncle-howard.jpg

Starbucks' success and its investment in employees helped make Schultz a beloved figure at the company, from corporate staff members to in-store baristas. Koehn recalls witnessing Schultz walking into a meeting of Starbucks employees and having the room "erupt like a rock concert." One barista who has worked at the chain for 20 years told Business Insider that she cried when Schultz left Starbucks in 2018. Numerous workers affectionately referred to him as "Uncle Howard," and Schultz himself wrote in "From the Ground Up" that he loved Starbucks "almost as much as my family." One former executive who worked at Starbucks under Schultz's leadership for more than a decade told Business Insider that the former CEO was widely respected, well-liked, and trusted within the company. Schultz, the person said, was "willing to make difficult decisions." Typically, his decisions proved to be the right ones. "There's a saying at Starbucks: We're not in the coffee business serving people, we're in the people business serving coffee," a Starbucks in-store worker who has been at the chain for roughly 13 years said. "That mind-set really speaks to me and is largely why I have so much pride in the company," she continued, adding: "The focus has always been on human connection, from the very beginning."
The dark side of Starbucks' Schultz worship
Schultz, however, was far from perfect. According to two former corporate Starbucks employees who worked with Schultz for years starting in the late 1990s, the flipside of Schultz's empathy and intelligence is his difficulty responding to criticism. "He has a truly unfortunate resemblance to Trump in that he cannot brook any sort of defiance," said the former Starbucks corporate worker who worked closely with Schultz in the early 2000s. "He demands loyalty. And he demands that his way be the way." Privately, Schultz would implode when faced with criticism or questions, the two corporate workers independently told Business Insider. Both said Schultz was obsessed with control. One former corporate worker recalled Schultz micromanaging details down to the colors that should be used in reports. Once, Schultz took vocal offense to a young employee wearing an Intelligentsia Coffee shirt in the Starbucks office, the executive said. Another time, Schultz refused to stand next to Seattle's mayor at an event because of a perceived slight against Starbucks related to a single store's lease, the other corporate worker said. Schultz's personal reputation is deeply important to him, both said, adding that he is extremely sensitive to any perceived threats to it. At the same time, Schultz was willing to take massive risks at Starbucks, even when cautioned against them. "His impatience will, at times, make him impetuous," the former longtime executive said. "He can just have such a desire to win." "He's a competitor," the person added. "So his nature is to always be pushing very hard." A representative for Schultz did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment on or provide confirmation of these specific incidents. Starbucks also did not respond to a request for comment. Despite the missteps, Starbucks insiders trusted Schultz because he had earned that trust, leading the company to enormous economic success while providing benefits. He demanded loyalty, and most Starbucks insiders were happy to pledge their allegiance to Schultz. Outside Starbucks was another story.
Schultz versus skeptics
Schultz's highest-profile professional failure was in leading the acquisition of the Seattle SuperSonics with a group of investors in 2001. Schultz had recently stepped down as Starbucks' CEO, assuming the role of chairman, and he said he viewed coming on as the largest investor in the team as a "public trust. " It was a disaster that ended with Schultz selling the Sonics to a group of Oklahoma businessmen led by Clay Bennett in 2006 — and with the team leaving Seattle in 2008. "People who recognized me would shout expletives, sometimes cursing me out in front of my kids," Schultz wrote in "From the Ground Up." "Selling the Sonics as I did is one of the biggest regrets of my professional life." Many Seattleites, including those who worked for the Sonics, continue to blame Schultz's missteps for the loss of the team, which became the Oklahoma City Thunder. Jeremy Repanich, who worked in guest relations at the time and wrote a definitive feature on the period for Deadspin in 2012, is one of them. "He got in the ring, he tried to do it, he got really frustrated, and then he took his ball and went home," Repanich told Business Insider. According to Repanich, the then-Starbucks chairman's romantic notions of acquiring the team failed to live up to the expectations of Schultz or of Sonics fans. The city of Seattle and Schultz were unable to reach a deal to share the costs of building the new arena Schultz believed to be necessary, something Repanich blames, in part, on Schultz's failure to build coalitions or invest in lobbying. Accustomed to his position as a respected No. 1 at Starbucks, Schultz alienated players like the star Gary Payton, to the detriment of the team. "He just was horrified that he couldn't control [players] and make them be the kind of people he wanted them to be," the corporate staffer who worked with Schultz in the early 2000s said. Schultz's thriftiness also had bizarre consequences, such as when the billionaire reportedly gave front-office employees Starbucks gift cards for $3.50 as a holiday present, a total so small the cards had to be custom made. Far from living up to his "Uncle Howard" reputation, Schultz's gift led to Sonics fans and employees — many of whom were initially thrilled about Schultz's acquisition — resenting the billionaire, according to Repanich. At Starbucks, Schultz was a widely respected leader with a massive amount of control. His romantic notion of what a coffee chain could be helped him create a revolutionary multibillion-dollar business. His focus on profitability paid off, and employees reaped the rewards. His success convinced him that he could take on any challenge and prove critics wrong. When "you're the visionary, you're afforded a level of legitimacy to the decisions you make," Repanich said. At the Sonics, Schultz was one of many powerful people with different agendas, from players to politicians. His romanticism of what owning a sports team would be like blinded him to reality, leaving him unprepared. Focusing on financials paralyzed the team. Eventually, Schultz squandered away any legitimacy he had, sources say. He is only beginning to make amends a decade later, with his first formal apology to Sonics fans appearing in "From the Ground Up." "His reputation is most important to him — he's super sensitive about it," the former Starbucks executive said. "And yet, he would do something like the Sonics sale — whether he knew if they would move it or not, that was a giant decision and a huge risk — and yet, it bothers him that people still hold that against him."
Schultz's political awakening

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Five years after Schultz sold the Sonics, he developed a new obsession: politics. While recovering from a surgery to fix a hairline fracture in 2011, Schultz was drawn into the around-the-clock cable-news coverage of the debt-ceiling crisis. Schultz was exasperated by politicians' inability to compromise for the good of Americans who were set to lose benefits and paychecks with the government shutdown. Schultz began to speak out, both internally at Starbucks and to the country as a whole. In December 2012, Washington, DC-area baristas wrote "Come Together" on cups to encourage bipartisan action. In October 2013, Starbucks provided customers with a chance to sign a petition to reopen the government. Starbucks' and Schultz's political activity only escalated from there. In 2013, Starbucks lobbied on behalf of same-sex marriage in Washington state, with Schultz speaking out to support marriage equality at Starbucks' annual shareholder meeting. In 2014, the company announced a commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018. In 2015, the year of the doomed "Race Together" campaign, Schultz wrote a New York Times op-ed article celebrating bipartisan leadership, in which he said he wasn't running for office "despite the encouragement of others." According to those who have observed and worked with Schultz, his dedication to social and political change is motivated by the same thing that drove him to provide benefits for employees: a genuine sense of duty. "There's this real calling within him to have an impact that's larger than delivering to the stakeholders and Starbucks in a traditional way," Koehn said. Mike Haynie, the executive director of Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families, said he had been impressed by Schultz's commitment to taking time to understand the realities of veterans' lives and by what Haynie had perceived as a lack of a hidden agenda. "There is only a handful of folks on this level who are as committed to this population as Howard and Sheri," Haynie told Business Insider, referring to Schultz and his wife, who is president of the Schultz Family Foundation. Haynie is incentivized to speak positively of his years working with Schultz, as the foundation recently donated $7.5 million to fund veterans' education and career-preparation programs. Even Schultz's critics say the former CEO's efforts are rooted in a genuine desire to improve the world. For example, Repanich said he believed that Schultz's decision to acquire the Sonics was driven by a "naive" and perhaps arrogant notion that he could save the team. "He has convinced himself he is our savior," the former Starbucks corporate employee said. "He wants to be our gentle, gentle savior, and he [thinks] he knows best for all of us."
The Trump tipping point
Even before 2011, Schultz was personally intrigued by politics. Since the early '90s, Schultz and his wife have donated $193,000 to Democratic candidates and organizations, according to Open Secrets. According to the former Starbucks staffer, Schultz is close to the Clintons and is connected to other Democratic players. He was reportedly set to be Hillary Clinton's pick for secretary of labor if she won the 2016 election. After Trump's win, Schultz told Starbucks workers he was "stunned." In January 2017, Starbucks announced it planned to hire 10,000 refugees worldwide in the next five years in response to Trump's attempt at barring refugees from entering the US. "The world is screwed up. People are unsettled," Schultz said during a meeting with Starbucks employees in Seattle in February 2017. "There is a tremendous amount of pressure and anxiety in America." "We have a president that is creating episodic chaos every single day and that is no doubt affecting consumer behavior," Schultz said in a video of the meeting obtained by Business Insider. Schultz is a man who, when he sees something he thinks is wrong, takes action — even if that means overstepping the boundaries of what a CEO is expected to do, sources say. With the lack of civility on the 2016 campaign trail and Trump's election, Schultz said he was convinced that something was rotten in American politics. And, as he had done many times before on a wealth of different issues, he decided he needed to take action. In late 2016, Schultz announced plans to step down as CEO. In July, he left the company altogether. Finally, his political career was set to take off.
Schultz 2020
So, why is Schultz considering running for president? Essentially, because he wants to save America. And, he has experienced enough success at Starbucks that he genuinely — and perhaps arrogantly — believes he can. "I don't think this is primarily about the gas tank of an unsheathed ego at all," Koehn said, adding: "He is very frustrated by what's going on in the country, and he wants to do something. Again, he's gone from Starbucks as the landscape to the American electoral landscape as a possibility." "I believe he does it genuinely with good intention," the Starbucks staffer from the early 2000s said. "But the intention is around making himself the hero. Like, he does think he is the only one who could solve our problems." Schultz faced a massive backlash the week after he announced he was considering running, with people slamming everything from his economic policies to his disconnect from the average American. The vast majority of Democratic strategists have expressed fear that Schultz's run would mostly serve to draw votes away from a Democratic nominee, ultimately helping reelect Trump. Repanich dismissed Schultz's "West Wing-y" fantasies as reminiscent of the big promises he made to the SuperSonics. Even some of the most loyal Schultz fans are not convinced. Many current and former Starbucks in-store workers are coming out against Schultz's plans to run as a centrist, including those who previously respected and trusted the former CEO. "Before he announced considering a run, I had as high an opinion of him as one could have of a billionaire," said one Santa Cruz, California-based Starbucks employee who says he is now considering quitting the company. "It felt as though he was running Starbucks in a somewhat unique way, what with all the benefits and programs the corporation offers its partners, and because of this I felt that he perhaps at least had a finger on the pulse of everyday Americans' needs," he continued. "However, my opinion has changed considerably." Schultz rarely acts rashly or airs grievances publicly. "Here's a guy who spent years carefully curating his reputation. It is deeply, deeply important to him — how he's viewed," the former executive said, adding that in just three or four days Schultz had "effectively seen that reputation dinged in many, many ways, in ways that I don't think he could have anticipated. "It's not who he thinks he is," he continued. "So, there's part of him that's probably saying, 'You know, wow I really miscalculated for the environment somehow.' And there's part of him that's saying, 'The environment is miscalculating me ... and I'm not getting the credit I deserve.'" Now, the question may be whether Schultz will escape the hell of his own making. Schultz has said he will run only if he has "the conviction and the courage to believe I can win." He has shown willingness throughout his career to pivot when times get tough or — in a less charitable framing — to surrender when things do not go his way. At the same time, he has also learned that ignoring critics can yield incredible results. "I think he's going to mistake stubbornness for commitment to a heroic cause," the former corporate staffer said. "The longer he's in this, the more he tarnishes his own legacy," she added. "This is a self-inflicted wound."



Democrats are begging Howard Schultz not to run for office — and threatening a Starbucks boycott if he does
Business Insider

URL: https://www.businessinsider.com/democra ... ign-2019-1
Category: Politics
Published: January 28, 2019

Description: After years of pushing progressive policies, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has infuriated the left. His crime: considering running for president as an independent. After the billionaire executive announced he's exploring a run as a "centrist independent" in 2020, Democrats voiced loud and almost unanimous opposition to the move. They said Schultz would siphon off anti-Trump voters that the future Democratic nominee will need, acting as a spoiler, much like the independents Ross Perot and Ralph Nader did in 1992 and 2000, respectively. "I take him at his word that he's well-intentioned, but this is a rich man's fantasy that will turn out to be nothing more than a massive in-kind contribution to Donald Trump's reelection campaign," Ian Russell, a Democratic congressional strategist, told Business Insider. "There simply isn't a path for an independent. All the money in the world can't change the laws of political physics." Russell added that he doesn't know anyone working in Democratic politics who would dare support Schultz's bid, given the liabilities. "The stakes are so high in this election, and defeating Trump must be an all-hands-on-deck united front," Adrienne Elrod, Hillary Clinton's 2016 director of strategic communications, told Business Insider. Many Democrats are slamming Schultz's bid as a doomed "vanity project," and they will likely escalate pressure on Schultz to drop the idea. "He's going to have to look in the mirror one day and decide if he wants to be part of the solution or part of the problem," Jesse Ferguson, a former top spokesman for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, told Business Insider. "While the American people aren't thrilled with a two-party system, they're even less excited about this kind of party of one."
#BoycottStarbucks
The potential punishment goes beyond Schultz. Some on the left are threatening to boycott Starbucks if the former CEO runs for president. "Vanity projects that help destroy democracy are disgusting," Neera Tanden, the president of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, tweeted. "If he enters the race, I will start a Starbucks boycott because I'm not giving a penny that will end up in the election coffers of a guy who will help Trump win," Tanden added. Other Democrats are slightly more optimistic that the Democratic nominee could prevail with a self-funded independent in the race. Basil Smilke, former executive director of the New York State Democratic Party, said Schultz should run "if he feels compelled to." "In a close race, yes he could be a spoiler, but I don't think the winner of 2020 will be victorious by a razor-thin margin," Smilke told Business Insider. Elrod said a boycott of her morning coffee is a "silly" idea. But, others seem to disagree. Representatives for Starbucks did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. Schultz told the news website Axios that he was not worried about backlash. "I'm not considering this to win the Twitter primary," he said. "I believe that lifelong Democrats and lifelong Republicans are looking for a home, and they're not spending hours and hours on Twitter." In a series of interviews on Sunday, Schultz outlined his positions on key issues, including healthcare, education, and the national debt. His fiscal conservatism — he supports cutting government spending on the social safety net — will likely put him at odds with every Democratic presidential candidate in 2020. In an interview with The New York Times, he called Democratic promises of single-payer healthcare, also known as Medicare for All, "as false as" Trump's pledge to build a wall on the US-Mexico border. "When I hear people espousing free government-paid college, free government-paid health care and a free government job for everyone — on top of a $21 trillion debt — the question is, how are we paying for all this and not bankrupting the country?" Schultz told The Times. Schultz's long-standing concern with the country's debt — which he called the "greatest threat domestically to the country" — might also set him apart from Trump and the GOP, which largely dropped its concern over the deficit after it passed the 2017 tax cuts. (The cuts are expected to add $1.8 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.) While Schultz left Starbucks in 2018, he still owns more than 37.7 million shares — or roughly 3% — of the company's stock. In 2018, Schultz's salary at Starbucks was $1, but he received $30.1 million in total compensation from the company, including stock and options awarded. Equity-research platform Sentieo reported on Monday morning that the calls for a boycott are accelerating on Twitter but are still small compared with the past boycott threats against the chain. However, a boycott does not need to substantially impact sales to get results. For example, movements to boycott Starbucks after accusations of racial profiling and the "red-cups" controversy did not significantly impact the stock price or global comparable sales, according to Sentieo. But, in 2018, Starbucks closed US stores for hours to retrain employees and changed bathroom policies after backlash regarding accusations of racial profiling. Democrats rallying against Starbucks may not significantly hurt sales. But it could damage Starbucks' reputation — and, perhaps, convince Schultz not to run.



Howard Schultz slams the 'vilification' of successful people in business as 'left-leaning' Democratic presidential hopefuls enter the 2020 race
Business Insider

URL: https://www.businessinsider.com/howard- ... ics-2019-3
Category: Politics
Published: March 22, 2019

Description: DENVER, Colorado — Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is doubling down on his centrist viewpoint as more 2020 presidential hopefuls throw their hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination. "In the last few months, there's been a level of vilification on business, business success, and specifically, capitalism," Schultz told Business Insider on Friday. "I have been a capitalist my whole life, but I demonstrated that you can be a performance-driven business through the lens of humanity." Schultz turned Starbucks into a coffee giant over his more than three decades of company leadership, emphasizing progressive policies and growing his net worth to an estimated $3.6 billion. In an interview with Business Insider on Friday, Schultz criticized both the right and the left, as he has done many times since announcing that he was "seriously considering" running for president as a centrist independent in January. "I'm as concerned with the current left-leaning tilt of the Democratic party towards socialism and the leading Democratic nominees at this point ... as I am about reelecting Donald Trump," Schultz told Business Insider. "Both these solutions, in my view, would be a terrible choice to the American people in 2020." Sen. Bernie Sanders, who identifies as a democratic socialist, is one of the most popular candidates for the Democratic nomination as the party increasingly embraces policies such as Medicare for All. When asked which potential Democratic candidates he admires, Schultz pointed to former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet announced whether he plans to run for president in 2020. "I know him, I've traveled with him. How can I not admire him?" Schultz said. "He served the country for 40-plus years. He's a great man." When asked whether Biden being nominated would impact his decision to run as a centrist independent, Schultz said it was too early to determine. "I think it's instructive that Mayor Bloomberg did not run as a moderate Democrat, could not find a path," Schultz said. "Whether Vice President Biden runs or not, it will be interesting to see whether he can find the path."
Schultz is 'equally concerned' with having a democratic socialist president and reelecting Trump
The longtime Starbucks leader has emphasized his humble beginnings in recent months. The child of two high-school dropouts, Schultz grew up in a public-housing project in Brooklyn, New York. "I still have the scars, the vulnerability, the shame, the insecurity of growing up in a family where my parents couldn't afford the $96-a-month rent for the apartment in the projects," Schultz said. "That has never left me." Schultz has faced backlash regarding his wealth since announcing his interest in running for president, with some critics portraying him as out of touch. In January, for example, Schultz was criticized for taking issue with the word "billionaire," swapping out the word for the term "people of means." Schultz said his immense wealth has not hurt his appeal to the American people, pointing to his humble beginnings and balance of "profit and responsibility" as CEO of Starbucks. He said that the odds of his rags-to-riches story happening were "virtually impossible," but that it could only work in America. Schultz described businesses taking action as crucial to addressing economic equality in the US. "The government itself is not going to be able to solve those problems, not sitting with $22 trillion of debt," Schultz said. Schultz said that wealthy Americans should be paying higher taxes and that corporate tax rates should be raised, with incentives built in to "do more" for employees. However, he argues that capitalism is crucial to reducing economic inequality. "I'm equally concerned about both a socialist democratic president as well as reelecting Donald Trump," Schultz said.



Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz comes out against Elizabeth Warren's plan to break up tech giants like Amazon
Business Insider

URL: https://www.businessinsider.com/howard- ... ech-2019-3
Category: Politics
Published: March 22, 2019

Description: DENVER — Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO who said in late January that he's "seriously considering" a presidential run as a centrist independent, has come out against Sen. Elizabeth Warren's plan to break up tech giants including Amazon. "I do not agree with Elizabeth Warren," Schultz said in an interview with Business Insider on Friday. "What I do agree with is the government needs to create oversight — not regulation, oversight — to provide the American people with the safety and security, specifically on the issue of privacy," Schultz continued. Earlier in March, Warren announced a regulatory plan to break up some of the most massive US tech companies, including Facebook, Google, and Amazon. It calls for rolling back major deals, such as Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods, and barring companies from sharing users' data with third parties. Schultz emphasized the importance of oversight over regulation for "very large and very powerful" tech companies. He said they had "developed, with great speed, a level of technology" that has "outpaced the government's ability to create legislation and oversight, specifically on the issue of privacy." Instead of breaking up tech companies, the government has a responsibility to have experts analyze what oversight is necessary, he said. In the weeks since announcing his consideration of a presidential bid, Schultz has accused what he calls the far right and the far left of failing to provide center-of-the-road policies and solutions. "I'm as concerned with the current left-leaning tilt of the Democratic Party towards socialism and the leading Democratic nominees at this point ... as I am about reelecting Donald Trump," Schultz said on Friday.
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Sanders rips Schultz's possible 2020 bid: Any billionaire can throw TV ads around and be credible

Postby smix » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:19 pm

Sanders rips Schultz's possible 2020 bid: Any billionaire can throw TV ads around and be credible
The Hill

URL: https://thehill.com/homenews/media/4305 ... e-2020-bid
Category: Politics
Published: February 19, 2019

Description: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday slammed Howard Schultz's possible 2020 presidential bid, claiming that his credibility as a potential candidate was buoyed by his status as a billionaire. Sanders lambasted Schultz in an interview on "CBS This Morning" after announcing his own candidacy for president. "Oh isn't that nice?" Sanders said sarcastically when CBS's John Dickerson mentioned Schultz's possible run as an independent. "Why is Howard Schultz on every television station in this country? Why are you quoting Howard Schultz? Because he's a billionaire." "There are a lot of people I know personally who work hard for a living and make 40 or $50,000 a year who know a lot more about politics, than, with all due respect, does Mr. Schultz," Sanders continued. "But because we have a corrupt system, anybody who is a billionaire and can throw a lot of TV ads around on television suddenly becomes very, very credible," he added. "So Mr. Schultz, what is he blackmailing the Democratic Party? If you don't nominate Bernie Sanders, he's not going to run?" he quipped. "Well, I don't think we should succumb to that kind of blackmail."

Image

Schultz, a former Starbucks CEO, has drawn ample media attention without making any formal announcement of his possible White House run. He has been featured on CBS's "60 Minutes" and held an hourlong prime-time town hall on CNN. Sanders said his primary goal is to defeat President Trump in 2020. "The bottom line for me is I think it is absolutely imperative that Donald Trump be defeated," he said in Tuesday's interview.
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Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz talks presidential bid at Rice University

Postby smix » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:53 pm

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz talks presidential bid at Rice University
Houston Chronicle

URL: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/busine ... 669143.php
Category: Politics
Published: March 6, 2019

Description: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, speaking to a small audience at Rice University, said he will run for president in 2020 if the Democratic nominee is too far left. Schultz said he is seriously considering running as an independent candidate and would make a definitive decision by the summer. “I’m going to try to do something that hasn’t been done before,” Schultz said, appearing to be referring to a third party presidential bid.

a-conversation-with-howard-schultz.jpg

Schultz, worth $3.6 billion according to Forbes, spoke to a mix of undergraduate business students, alumni and donors as part of his tour of Texas, which includes visiting universities, festivals and town hall forums. His anecdote-heavy speech largely focused on his leadership of Starbucks during company public relations crises, including the 2015 "Race Together" marketing campaign that largely backfired on social media, and a 2018 incident in which two black men were arrested at a Starbucks store in a racial profiling incident in Philadelphia. But the speech also included campaign-ready talking points. He said he doubted that a Democrat in the White House would be able to move the country forward due to an inability to find compromise with Republicans in Congress. He spoke about two-party divisions and how he believed polls suggest Americans want a third choice. “We probably all can agree, Republican or Democrat, there’s something not quite right (in the country),” Schultz said. “Most importantly, a lack of trust.” Schultz served more than 20 years as Starbuck CEO over the course of two stints. He built Starbucks into a global phenomenon with more than 20,000 stores in dozens of countries. His book, “From the Ground Up: A journey to Reimagine the Promise of America,” was recently published. Schultz has been criticized for considering a third-party run by Democrats, who fear he will siphon votes from the eventual Democratic nominee and help re-elect President Donald Trump. Schultz said he doesn’t want Trump to win, either, but also criticized the platforms of Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as too far to the left. “I’m willing to say that the two-party system is broken,” Schultz said. “We think there’s a path to 270 (electoral college votes).”
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Could Schultz break through established party duopoly?

Postby smix » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:10 pm

Could Schultz break through established party duopoly?
Bismarck Tribune

URL: https://bismarcktribune.com/opinion/col ... ce55f.html
Category: Politics
Published: March 3, 2019

Description: WASHINGTON -- As an upbeat Howard Schultz tucked into lunch here recently he was having a good week because Democrats were having an awful one. The former Starbucks CEO, who is contemplating a plunge into politics, knows that his narrow path to the presidency as an independent depends on the Democratic Party becoming as offensive as the Republican Party has become. So, because his political prospects depend on the Democratic Party making normal people wince, he cannot be displeased by: Numerous Democratic presidential candidates embracing the Green New Deal in the nanosecond before it became a punchline. Various candidates telling 180 million Americans to have stiff upper lips about losing their private health insurance under "Medicare for all." One candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, saying: There will be less paperwork when the government runs health care. Really. Another candidate (vegan Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey) saying that eating meat threatens the planet. New York and Virginia Democrats, expanding "reproductive rights" into infanticide, saying that infants who survive late-term abortions will be kept "comfortable" while they die of neglect. House Democrats swatting an anti-Semite in their caucus, but having to live with rising anti-Israel sentiment in their base. And remaining hostage to a ubiquitous colleague who became the face of (a) socialism and (b) freshman Democrats by capturing a safe seat after winning a primary with the grand total of 16,898 votes. Democrats are spewing fury about Schultz, who they think might siphon off anti-Trump votes and become Ralph Nader redux. In 2000, when George W. Bush won the presidency by defeating Al Gore in Florida by 537 votes, Nader, running as the Green Party candidate, received 97,488 Florida votes, thereby probably defeating Gore. Schultz is startled but undaunted by Democratic vituperation. He says that getting on the ballot in all 50 states will be no problem, and he sees a path to 270 electoral votes -- assuming the Democratic nominee embodies a compound of high-octane progressivism and weirdness (see paragraph two above). A decision to run, which Schultz probably must make by early summer, long before the Democratic nominee will be known, will involve two wagers, the first of which is that Democrats will oblige him by ideological self-indulgence. If, as is probable, he becomes a candidate, and if, as is not probable, he quickly attracts significant support, he might tug Democrats toward the center. This would weaken the rationale for his candidacy but not erase it because two of his animating concerns -- fiscal recklessness (trillion-dollar deficits while the economy grows) and obliviousness regarding the rickety structure of entitlements (Social Security, Medicare) -- are as serious as they are perilous. Schultz hopes Americans want to hear the truth about fiscal mismanagement; he knows they might obliterate a candidate who tells them the truth and what should be done about it. This is why candidates avoid these subjects. Schultz knows that even the most successful third-party candidate failed: In 1912, former President Theodore Roosevelt -- universally known, widely admired, vastly experienced, politically gifted -- bested the incumbent president, William Howard Taft, who won just eight electoral votes, but Roosevelt was trounced by Woodrow Wilson, 435 electoral votes to 88. No third-party candidate has won electoral votes since 1968, when George Wallace, who won just 13.5 percent of the vote, carried five states because he had a regional base, the South. He was, however, a wine that did not travel. Wallace had a vivid personality, as did the sandpapery Ross Perot, who in 1992 won 19 percent of the popular vote, but no electoral votes. Schultz is as mild as oatmeal, which is admirable and conceivably marketable. His other wager (besides that Democrats will nominate someone who makes normal people queasy) is that Americans, exhausted and embarrassed by politics-as-a-mixed-martial-arts-cage-match, will be ready for someone whose message begins with a simple question: "Is this really the best we can do?" The antecedent of "this" is: A president who calls his porn-star mistress "Horseface." A supine Republican Party that is content to have the president make a mockery of the basic constitutional architecture, the separation of powers, by declaring a national emergency because of a legislative disappointment, thereby nullifying Congress' core power, control of spending. And an opposition party that thinks America needs a lot more government supervision of everything, and that this would mean a lot less paperwork. There. Now, try to argue with a straight face that a challenge to today's party duopoly would subtract from the stock of excellence in government.
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Schultz recruiting GOP insiders ahead of possible 2020 bid

Postby smix » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:46 pm

Schultz recruiting GOP insiders ahead of possible 2020 bid
The Hill

URL: https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/4 ... e-2020-bid
Category: Politics
Published: March 7, 2019

Description: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has recruited at least three veteran House Republican staffers and consultants to join his presidential campaign-in-waiting, bringing on seasoned and well-connected GOP operatives who know their way around the very political apparatus helping to reelect President Trump in 2020. They include Brendon DelToro and Matt LoParco, who served as deputy political director and external affairs director, respectively, to former National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) during the 2018 cycle. A third Schultz hire, GOP consultant Greg Strimple, founder of GS Strategy Group, has done polling and other consulting for the NRCC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), according to campaign finance reports. The hires are reflective of Schultz’s efforts to cast himself as a political centrist who doesn’t neatly fit into the rank-and-file of either major party. They also signal that Schultz, a lifelong Democrat, is likely to make a play for Republican voters should he mount a campaign for the White House. In an interview, Stivers said former NRCC staffers are free to do what they want but called it “frustrating” that some would choose to work for a man who is looking to oust Trump next year. “That’s frustrating, but it’s their lives,” Stivers, a Trump ally, said in an interview with The Hill. “We had 90 Republicans operatives working for us and some of them are gonna go do other things.” Asked specifically about DelToro, who is said to be recruiting fellow NRCC alums to the Schultz operation in Seattle, Stivers replied: “It’s a free world, and he can do what he wants. I’m not sure it will be easy for him to get back into Republican politics, but that’s on him I guess.” “I hope he’s well paid,” Stivers added. DelToro did not respond to a request for comment. Asked about former NRCC staffers working for Team Schultz, current NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) replied: “I don’t know anything about it.” Schultz spokeswoman Erin McPike pushed back on Stivers’s suggestion that these operatives would have trouble breaking back into Republican politics. The former Starbucks CEO, she said, is focused on bringing together staffers “from all walks of life and political stripes” “When you talk about it from people with both sides of the aisle, there’s nothing else going on quite like this right now,” McPike said Wednesday. “So, the idea that Steve Stivers would say someone can’t work on one side of the aisle again … that is unbelievable to me.” Sources said Schultz, a billionaire, is throwing big money at experienced, professional Democratic and Republican operatives alike — annual salaries perhaps in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars. In January, Schultz hired veteran GOP strategist Steve Schmidt and veteran Democratic strategist Bill Burton. “I would insist on $500,000 a year, plus moving expenses,” said a former veteran GOP presidential campaign staffer who has been closely watching the Schultz campaign take shape. “It’s a tremendous financial opportunity. Senior jobs in a presidential campaign don’t grow on trees, and if you are not enthused about working for Trump, it’s alluring. I don’t begrudge these people at all.” Last cycle, DelToro and LoParco worked out of the same Republican National Committee headquarters, which Trump has now merged with his 2020 reelection campaign. The merged venture is known as Trump Victory. The new Schultz hires are irking Republicans and Democrats alike. In the weeks after Schultz raised the prospect of an independent run in January, some Democrats worried that his candidacy would siphon off centrist votes from the eventual Democratic nominee and potentially hand Trump a second term in the White House. Fueling frustrations was Schultz’s decision to hire Burton, who advised former President Obama during his successful 2008 run for the White House. Democrats saw that move as seeking to lend credibility to Schultz’s nascent political operation. At the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) annual winter meeting last month, party officials privately grumbled over Schultz’s prospective independent bid. But the tenor of those complaints reflected more frustration than concern. Several DNC members said Schultz — despite being a lifelong Democrat — had done little in the past to help the party and that a White House run looked more like a publicity stunt than a genuine effort to oust Trump. “I’m only hoping he hires smart people who can advise him pragmatically on how dangerous this is,” one Democratic operative said Thursday. “Are they prepared to tell Howard Schultz, ‘the book tour is over, time to get back to real life.’ ” That operative warned that a job on Schultz’s would-be campaign could also be toxic for anyone looking to return to Democratic politics in the future. “Howard Schultz’s campaign represents the best opportunity Donald Trump has for reelection,” the operative said. “So, anyone who enables this process is someone [Democrats] won’t want to hire. I’m not even sure we’d want to have them over for dinner.” Schultz’s GOP hires have bounced around Republican circles for years, and in some cases, decades. Earlier this decade, DelToro served as both campaign manager and chief of staff for Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.). He then managed former Indiana GOP Rep. Marlin Stutzman’s failed 2016 Senate campaign. On the Stutzman campaign, DelToro worked closely with Brooks Kochvar, who has also joined Team Schultz, GOP sources confirmed. Kochvar has advised Walorski, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), who was Neil Gorsuch’s Trump-appointed liaison to Capitol Hill during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Kochvar also worked with Strimple at GS Strategy Group, a consulting firm with deep ties to the Congressional Leadership Fund and other Republican groups. During the 2018 election cycle, the GOP leadership-aligned PAC paid GS Strategy more than $1.5 million for polling services, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Among the firm’s other top clients in 2018: Senate Leadership Fund, the Senate Republican leadership-aligned super PAC, and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, whose campaign paid GS Strategy $11,700 for polling work. LoParco, Stiver’s body man last cycle, previously worked for Rep. Doug Collins (Ga.), who served in GOP leadership and is now the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.



Schultz at SXSW: Issues facing US won't be solved by sending tweets
The Hill

URL: https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/4 ... functional
Category: Politics
Published: March 9, 2019

Description: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is mulling launching a 2020 independent presidential bid, went after members of both parties Saturday during a talk at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Texas. "We're living in a society right now where you can send a tweet about anything … and all of a sudden you're an iconic celebrity. ... But that’s not going to solve the issues that we're facing," he told NBC's Dylan Byers at the Austin conference. During the conversation, Schultz sought to leverage his decades of experience in business and years running a global corporation to make the case that he could successfully lead the country if elected. Schultz called the Democratic platform "extreme." He also said people such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) are "well-intentioned" but questioned whether proposals they have backed are realistic. "They love the country. They have their core beliefs. But you have to ask yourself … is it realistic to think that these things can be achieved?" he said. "You can’t try and solve one extreme with the other," he added. "And now we have a new extreme, and it’s the Democratic platform." He also slammed the two-party system, calling it "broken." Schultz announced in January that he was "seriously considering" running for president in 2020 as a "centrist independent." In doing so, he would opt not to face a crowded field of progressives and Democrats such as Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and others who are vying for Democratic nomination. Democrats fear that if Schultz does decide to run, he'll garner votes among those opposing President Trump's reelection, helping hand the president a second term. The former executive maintained Saturday that if he were to enter the 2020 race, it could split the vote across parties, saying he will "not proceed" if "the math doesn’t work." SXSW is an annual festival and conference of music, media, technology and other topics that takes place in Austin.
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Howard Schultz: Dems will play 'spoiler' if they pick a nominee with socialist values

Postby smix » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:49 pm

Howard Schultz: Dems will play 'spoiler' if they pick a nominee with socialist values
Fox News

URL: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/howard ... -the-party
Category: Politics
Published: March 7, 2019

Description: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, in an interview with Fox News, said Thursday that Democrats would be at risk of playing a "spoiler" role if they nominate a socialist-aligned candidate to challenge President Trump -- as he tries to turn the tables on criticism from the left that he could ruin the party’s 2020 hopes should he run for president as an independent. The billionaire businessman pointedly pushed back on claims that an independent bid would amount to a spoiler candidacy handing Trump a second term, arguing that voters are looking for a centrist candidate who can bridge the political divide. "If you want to talk about spoiler, if the Democrats decide in their wisdom to nominate a far-left person who is professing policies ... of a socialist — that will be a spoiler,” Schultz said. Schultz, who said in January that he is mulling an independent presidential run, has sought to position himself as a centrist alternative to Trump’s controversial policies and the Democrats' leftward drift. Some Democratic pollsters and analysts have raised concerns over how a candidate like self-proclaimed democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., or others who have supported big-government policies like the Green New Deal would fare in winning over moderate voters. Matt Bennett, vice president of Third Way, a center-left think tank, says this "could be trouble" if Democrats aren't offering a vision of the country that speaks to ordinary voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election. "The risk is that the eventual nominee goes too far during this primary process and becomes hard to support for a lot of people who might be interested in getting rid of Trump,” he said. Schultz has sought to position himself as a moderate foil to both parties' current brand of politics. “The American people need to hear a lot of voices,” Schultz said. “The two-party system is not working for the American people.” The 65-year-old Seattle billionaire, who launched a tour in January to promote his latest book, "From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America," has been the subject of presidential speculation ever since saying when he retired from Starbucks last June that his future could include "public service." On paper, Schultz offers a number of qualities that might appeal to voters. He grew up in public housing in Brooklyn, New York, and became the first person in his family to graduate from college. The former Starbucks chief is also a longtime Democratic donor, contributing to the campaigns of former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, and Washington Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, among others. But his story and past Democratic support appear to have not won him any leeway with a Democratic Party singularly focused on taking back the White House from Trump and concerned that any independent run would be to Trump’s benefit. Schultz was almost immediately hit with criticism after telling “60 Minutes” back in January that he was considering a White House run, with Democrats from David Axelrod, the former adviser to then-President Barack Obama, to Tina Podlodowski, the Democratic Party chairwoman in Washington state, urging him not to launch a campaign. "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," Podlodowski said. The Democratic backlash, however, has done little to dissuade Schultz as he continues touring the country, even as he vows not to do anything to help Trump stay in the White House. "Let's just lay it out, the two-party system is broken and not working on behalf of the American people," he said. "Americans deserve better and we can fix it."



Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz abandons 2020 presidential ambitions
Fox News

URL: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/starbu ... -ambitions
Category: Politics
Published: September 6, 2019

Description: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced Friday morning he is officially abandoning his exploration of an independent presidential campaign, but the billionaire said he plans to spend significant funds to “transform our broken system.” Schultz, in a letter posted to howardschultz.com, cited general voter apathy, institutional roadblocks to an independent candidacy and back woes among the reasons for not seeking the presidency. "My belief in the need to reform our two-party system has not wavered, but I have concluded that an independent campaign for the White House is not how I can best serve our country at this time," Schultz wrote. "I will spend this election cycle and the years ahead supporting bold and creative initiatives to transform our broken system and address the disparity of opportunity that plagues our nation." The 66-year-old's intended center-left candidacy was seen as a possible impediment to whoever wins the Democratic nomination for president and was particularly threatening to the more moderate candidates – such as front-runner and former Vice President Joe Biden – who are running, something Schultz acknowledged as he bowed out. "If I went forward, there is a risk that my name would appear on ballots even if a moderate Democrat wins the nomination, and that is not a risk I am willing to take," Schultz wrote. Though not citing a specific figure, Schultz said he planned to use "the money that I was prepared to commit to a presidential campaign" to further his policy goals, investing in "people, organizations and ideas that promote honesty, civility and results in our politics, and that move the country beyond two-party gridlock." The former head of the coffee mega-chain had previously said he planned to spend more than $100 million on a White House bid, so his monetary contribution in the 2020 race is likely to be sizeable. Schultz said in January he was exploring a possible presidential run. However, he put those plans on hold in June amid reported staffing cuts and said at the time he would revisit his decision after Labor Day. If he had run, Schultz would have followed in the footsteps of President Trump, another billionaire non-politician, though his successful effort came inside the tent of one of the two major parties.
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Howard Schultz says a far-left Democrat could re-elect Trump

Postby smix » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:13 am

Howard Schultz says a far-left Democrat could re-elect Trump
CBS News

URL: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/howard-sch ... ect-trump/
Category: Politics
Published: March 9, 2019

Description: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is considering an independent bid for president, said a far-left Democrat could alienate much of the country and help to re-elect President Trump. He pushed back against the common Democratic complaint that he would act as a spoiler if he entered the race. "I really believe the spoiler in all of this is going to be a far-left Democratic candidate, if that's who gets the nomination, who is walking the shoes of a socialist," Schultz said in an interview on Friday. He said "lifelong Republicans who do not want to pull the lever for Donald Trump are not gonna pull the lever for someone" who promotes socialist policies. Schultz called out Elizabeth Warren in particular, who on Friday introduced a proposal to break up big social media companies due to concerns about privacy and the proliferation of hate speech online. "What we're seeing right now is Democratic candidates [who] in order to stay relevant and to stay in the news basically issue a press release or a tweet that they all know is not possible. It's fantasy," Schultz said. "We need to discuss with the leaders of those companies, their responsibility to the American people, responsibility about privacy issues and have a conversation based on civility." Schultz also addressed former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's decision not to run in the Democratic primary. Bloomberg, who was formerly an independent, has expressed concern that an independent candidate could help re-elect Mr. Trump. Schultz said he thinks it's "interesting" that Bloomberg decided not to proceed -- "someone who has been a great business person, a great mayor, who could not crack the code of how his position could be perceived positively in a Democratic party that is moving so far to the left." He also said he would "welcome" former Vice President Joe Biden, who is considered more of a centrist, into the race. Schultz is appearing at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, this weekend.
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