When former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz rolled out the red carpet for his warmed-over Third Way presidential campaign from the ‘90s earlier this week, he probably expected a warmer welcome than this.
Schultz has just been getting pummeled from all sides over the past few days for everything from his inability to provide a vision for the country that doesn’t sound like it was left on the cutting floor during West Wing writers’ meetings to his repeated insistence that taxes, a robust safety net, and essentially everything that he doesn’t like are “un-American.” But while a lot of the attacks have come from the left, even Schultz’s presumed natural constituency—ideological centrists who think Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump pose a remotely similar level of danger to the country—are already tired of his shit.
Axios’ Mike Allen, who’s never afraid to ask the tough questions, has a blog out in Axios today which serves to allow Democratic Party “insiders”—i.e., the people whose main responsibility for the last couple of decades has been making sure it never does anything too popular—the opportunity to verbally whale on Schultz and his insipid candidacy. Per Allen:
One of Washington’s best-wired party operatives told me: “I’ve talked to six dozen Democrats, and the overwhelming sentiment is that he will be pushed out by this incredible wave of disgust and disdain rolling his way.”
Here’s Jim Messina, the former Obama campaign manager who took his talents to the UK’s Tories during their 2017 election campaign and promptly got his whole ass handed to him by the absolute boy Jezza:
He can’t win, and he could seriously damage our ability to beat Donald Trump. He should either run as a Democrat, or spend his time and money doing something that won’t ruin the world.
And here’s Clinton hanger-on and true basketcase Philippe Reines:
Howard Schultz is a jackass. ... He’s arrogant and wealthy — and those people tend to not see the world as it is.
Right on the money. Thank you, comrade Philippe!
Bill Burton, the former Obama White House aide who’s signed onto Schultz’s vanity project along with former McCain 2008 campaign manager Steve Schmidt, offered up the same kind of lukewarm lines that Schultz himself has been using this week—that elections aren’t “decided on Twitter,” and that the pundits counting Schultz out are reminiscent of pundits counting out Barack Obama (wrong) and Donald Trump (wrong again).
But if there’s any constituency in the Democratic Party which was ripe for a third-party candidacy from a socially liberal, fiscally conservative billionaire, it was the likes of Reines and Messina. And even they hate this guy, which again raises the question: What the hell is all of this for?