Howard Schultz, the Starbucks CEO who had announced a third party, independent run for President, has withdrawn. Here, in part, is his statement:
Eighty-four percent of Americans do not consider themselves far right or far left. Among them are an “exhausted majority” who want common sense, collaborative and truthful governing. …Statistically and anecdotally, there is an undeniable appetite for meaningful political reform in America. I had hoped to represent this common-sense view, but I’ve come to face a few truths…First, despite a variety of efforts to initiate conversations about political reform, extreme voices currently dominate the national dialogue, often with a vitriol that crowds out and discourages thoughtful discussions. And despite their hunger for reform, the exhausted majority has largely tuned out of political life online and in the news, leaving the extreme voices to define the debate. In addition, not enough people today are willing to consider backing an independent candidate because they fear doing so might lead to re-electing a uniquely dangerous incumbent president. There is considerable concern that four more years of a Trump administration pose a graver threat to our democracy than four more years of political dysfunction. I agree, but I’m also concerned that far-left policy ideas being advanced by several Democratic candidates will further alienate voters who believe those ideas will inflict more economic harm than good. The nomination of a far-left Democratic candidate could result in more votes for Trump—unless a moderate independent is also on the ballot….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. Finally, a back injury in April and three subsequent surgeries have required a level of recovery that has prevented me from continuing my travels and engaging with people to the degree that is necessary. 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.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 money that I was prepared to commit to a presidential campaign will instead be used to invest in people, organizations and ideas that promote honesty, civility and results in our politics, and that move the country beyond two-party gridlock. Common-sense policies and initiatives that can help address widening inequality at home, while strengthening America’s standing in the world, will be a priority. Among my early efforts will be to advocate for increased national service opportunities for young people…. Let us agree that we will always have differences, because that is the nature of the republic we have created, but let’s also acknowledge that we are stronger when we unite under shared values. Let’s agree that we owe our children a less divisive America, and that we have the power to create a healthier climate, one where opinion and truth can stand side by side, where disagreement is followed by compromise, extremes are tempered by moderation, and divisiveness is eclipsed by decency.
1. Got it. He doesn’t have the guts to run. Well, running for President and then being President is massive, overwhelming life commitment that very few Americans have the fortitude to accept. This is the main reason that Presidents share certain personality and character traits, some good, some bad.
2. It was clear that Schultz was a Quixotic weenie back in April, when he managed to say illegal immigration was both good and bad at the same time. He appeared to think moderate meant “weak and indecisive.” Schultz also had all of the presence and charisma of Farris Bueller’s teacher. The statement really means, “You can’t reject me! I quit!”
3. He doesn’t want to run because he might take votes away from from a hypothetical moderate Democratic nominee who has yet to appear with a genuine chance of getting the nomination? Who, Howard? The supposedly moderate front-runner, Joe Biden, just endorsed banning cows and airplanes on national TV, not that it isn’t clear that Joe would pronounce himself an Emissary from Pluto if he thought it would get him through the primaries.
4. Ugh: “The money that I was prepared to commit to a presidential campaign will instead be used to invest in people, organizations and ideas that promote honesty, civility and results in our politics, and that move the country beyond two-party gridlock.” Money doesn’t solve everything, you pompous yutz. The culture is changed by leaders who persuade with ideas, words and results, not by writing checks.
5. Oh! Common sense solutions! Like what? Schultz has talked about common sense solutions without proposing any, and we know that “common sense solutions” is popular progressive-speak for “do something, even if it won’t work!”
6. Given a chance to give an example of the kind of initiatives he, as President, would promote, the only one Schultz names is “increased national service opportunities for young people.” This is tired cant from the old liberal playbook: the Peace Corps, Vista, Americorp, none of which were worth the time, money and hot air they used up. Of course, the current crop of Democratic candidates have several advocates for mandatory national service—you know, like Hitler Youth.
7. Schultz is one of those incompetent wannabes who can make soaring ideals sound cynical because he’s the one extolling them. He would have been a distraction, and the race is well rid of him.