2020 Race Just Got a Venti Jolt

Ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz might run as an independent
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2019 3:15 AM CST
Ex-Starbucks CEO Is Considering White House Bid
In this March 22, 2017 photo, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks at the Starbucks annual shareholders meeting in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz gave the 2020 race a jolt Sunday by announcing that he is "seriously considering" running for president as an independent. "Our two parties are more divided than ever," he tweeted. "Let’s discuss how we can come together to create opportunities for more people." The 65-year-old billionaire—who hinted at the move when he stepped down from the company last year—told the New York Times that although he is a "lifelong Democrat," the party has shifted too far left for him. He said Republicans and Democrats who no longer see themselves as "part of the far extreme of the far right and the far left" are "looking for a home."

For Democrats, the news was as welcome as a tarantula in a Frappuccino. They warned that an independent run from Schultz would split the vote and boost President Trump's chances of re-election, reports Reuters. If Schultz entered the race, "essentially it would provide Donald Trump with his best hope of getting re-elected," said Democratic contender Julian Castro, per the Guardian. The Washington state Democratic Party tweeted a picture of a Starbucks cup with "Don't do it, Howard!" written on the side. Analyst Nate Silver, however, tweeted that it wasn't clear whether an "Old Rich Business Guy running a 3rd party bid" would help Trump or hurt him. (Kamala Harris entered the 2020 race last week.)

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