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Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is considering a new location in the West Wing. On Sunday’s “60 Minutes,” the lifelong Democrat outlined a potential run as a “centrist independent” in 2020.
“We’re living at a most fragile time,” Schultz told CBS’s Scott Pelley. “Not only the fact that this President is not qualified to be the president, but the fact that both parties are consistently not doing what’s necessary on behalf of the American people and are engaged every single day in revenge politics.”
“I want to see the American people win. I want to see America win,” Schultz continued. “I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, Republican. Bring me your ideas. And I will be an independent person who will embrace those ideas because I am not, in any way, in bed with a party.”
Former Obama adviser Bill Burton is joining Schultz’s team, according to Robert Costa of the Washington Post. The vast majority of Democratic officials, however, are terrified about a run from the center.
Julián Castro, a former Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama and a contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, urged the former Starbucks CEO not to run.
“I have a concern that if he did run, that, essentially, it would provide [President] Donald Trump with his best hope of getting re-elected,” Castro said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, went further than Castro, tweeting that “vanity projects that help destroy democracy are disgusting.”
“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,” she said.
…”Given the strong pull of partisanship and the realities of the electoral college system, there is no way an independent can win,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “That is truer today than ever before.”
…Tina Podlodowski, chair of the Washington State Democratic Party, said in a Monday statement that Schultz’s run “isn’t about bringing anyone together” and was “about one person: Howard Schultz.”
Meanwhile, Trump seems to be baiting Schultz to jump into the 2020 race.
Howard Schultz doesn’t have the “guts” to run for President! Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the “smartest person.” Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2019
Exit question: Do you think Schultz has a chance?