Howard Schultz's Hostage Negotiation

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If there was any question as to why former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is extremely publicly considering a run for president, it’s much more apparent now.

Since his appearance on 60 Minutes on Sunday night, all of these things have happened:


Seriously, look at this shit.

Considering that the current and very bad president is a Republican, you might be wondering why Schultz is spending all of his time attacking marginally left-wing Democrats while also touting the need for unity and all of that horseshit that’s supposed to be the foundation of his idea-free campaign.

Schultz’s purpose so far appears to be to warn the Democratic Party: If you nominate someone who wants me to pay the relative equivalent of breadcrumbs in order to fund a safety net, someone who won’t resuscitate the long-dead corpse of the Bill Clinton 1992 campaign but rather runs a forward-looking progressive campaign, I will stay in the race and throw the election to Trump.

This is not a presidential campaign. It’s a hostage negotiation, and Schultz’s prisoners are Democratic primary voters. Because the stock of “electability” as a quality in a presidential candidate has plummeted since 2016, here’s a new one that the many chuds vying to occupy the centrist ground in the Democratic primary can use: If you vote for Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren, or even Kamala Harris, the centrist third-party candidate will ensure Trump’s re-election. One oligarch whose signature claims to fame are overpriced coffee and moving the Sonics out of Seattle has apparently decided that it’s his way or the highway.


All of this operates on the conventional wisdom that Schultz would pull more Democrats than Republicans; considering a new ABC News poll shows that 32 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents want someone other than Trump in 2020, that’s not exactly settled business. But it’s becoming increasingly clear what’s most important to Schultz, and the driving force behind why he’s considering this vanity run that appeals to only the biggest dumbasses and scumbags: His money, and his desire to keep it.