Michael Swartz / February 1, 2019

Dems Know Nothing About the Appeal of Howard Schultz

The former Starbucks CEO is a loyal Democrat, but he’s a straight, white, wealthy male.

In decades past, the well-worn path to the White House involved holding a number of political positions. Of the previous 12 postwar presidents, only Dwight Eisenhower was a non-politician — and he was the general who led the Allied effort in World War II. But since Donald Trump upset that apple cart in his unlikely run to the Republican nomination and the White House, it seems that everyone else who’s succeeded in running a large corporation wants to follow his lead.

This phenomenon really began with H. Ross Perot in 1992, and while Perot’s independent campaign that year only drew about 19% of the vote — and likely split the GOP enough to allow Bill Clinton to win with a 43% plurality — Perot’s two campaigns inspired other business leaders to try their own runs. (Perot’s second attempt in 1996 gave birth to the Reform Party, which four years later was the vehicle for Trump’s first, short-lived attempt at the White House.) In 2012, businessman Herman Cain led the GOP field for a short time before rumors of an extramarital affair drove him from the race, and four years later Trump was joined in the fray for a time by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

Yet no business leader has tried to enter the presidential race from the left side of political center. Sure, Michael Bloomberg has hinted at it, as has billionaire Tom Steyer from the far left, but their whispering campaigns didn’t produce a fraction of the angst that’s greeted Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz recently. As The Wall Street Journal editorial board opined, “Democrats have since been shrieking like teenagers at a horror movie” at the prospect of a Schultz run.

So why are they afraid of a businessman with low name ID jumping into a presidential race sure to have larger-than-life personalities on both major-party tickets? Because he might cost them some precious votes. The former Starbucks CEO has long been a loyal Democrat, but he has a problem that’s summed up well by National Review’s Kevin Williamson: “Schultz … is on cultural issues where the Democrats are, but he is not culturally where they are, which at the moment is somewhere in the leafy suburbs of Pyongyang.” Schultz is also a straight, white, wealthy male at a time when the “progressives” are looking for a candidate to check as many “victim” boxes as possible. (Thus far, though, we haven’t seen the Democrats’ ultimate candidate, which would be a transgender person of color.) So the very idea of Schultz taking his shot is “reckless idiocy” that merits a heckler screaming “don’t help elect Trump!”

But PJ Media’s Roger Simon makes the case that there’s room in the center for a candidate who understands the economic idiocy of “Medicare for All” and free college but wouldn’t be as hard-line on immigration as Trump, nor would he be at war with the media. While the Fourth Estate wouldn’t be ecstatic about his bid, they may treat Schultz as the adult in the room when compared to Trump.

Let’s put it this way: Schultz knows he’d be ground to bits in a Democrat primary race that’s sure to be a contest of who can race farthest left, so why not spend a little money for ballot access to make an independent run and see if America really is a center-left country? If, as they say, the youth of the nation are pining for utopian socialism, the vote split would come from Trump’s side, right?

Could it be that leftists know we’re onto their game, leaving Democrats no choice but to try to clear the field? Look for the Leftmedia to dutifully dig up enough dirt on Schultz to dissuade him from running at all.

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