In early February, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that he is considering running for President in the 2020 race as an independent, centrist candidate. During his time as CEO of Starbucks, Schultz expanded the company to the global market, shaping the coffee store to what we know today. He also known for being outspokenly socially progressive, using Starbucks as a platform to offer employees paid college educations, supporting gay marriage, and most recently shutting down all Starbucks stores to retrain staff after an incident in which an employee called the police on two innocent black men. Schultz has stated that his candidacy would offer a middle ground to the 40 percent of Americans who don’t identify with either party. Schultz seems to be appealing to those who are fiscally conservative, yet socially progressive.
Former Vice President of Starbucks and U.S. politics enthusiast Howard Wollner says, “[Schultz believes] that we have gone too far to demonize the capitalist system.”
Schultz’s announcement was received extremely negatively, many seeing Schultz as another billionaire businessman who has no place in office. Others also see Schultz as a risk, as independent candidates could increase chances of Donald Trump getting re-elected, as Schultz would mainly pull votes away from democratic voters as opposed to the other side. Will Howard Schultz be a spoiler candidate, or could he find an untapped audience in the large demographic of independent voters?