Former Starbucks CEO Receives Backlash about Running for President

Despite leading one of the most popular coffeehouses in the nation, former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz isn’t garnering much support when it comes to running for president. On Sunday, Jan. 27, Schultz announced on Twitter, “I love our country, and I am seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent.”

Although Schultz identifies as a “lifelong Democrat,” he wants to take a different stance if he decides to run in the 2020 election. He disagrees with both Democrats and Republicans on certain issues and wants to address them as a neutral party. However, his plan to run as an independent has received major opposition, especially by Democrats. Since his big announcement, a large presence of Americans has taken to Twitter to ridicule him, fearing that his running would cause a division between the anti-Trump supporters, ultimately leading to the re-election of our current president. Between the Twitter mocking, protestors in his own hometown of Seattle, Washington and President Trump claiming that he “doesn’t have the ‘guts’ to run for president,” Schultz is surprised by the amount of backlash. More specifically, he doesn’t understand why people are hating on his wealth.

“I'm self-made. I grew up in the project in Brooklyn, New York. I thought that was the American dream, the aspiration of America," Schultz said in an interview with MSNBC. 

He believes that his experience transforming from a low-class to a high-class citizen gives him the skills necessary for the job. 

"And what qualifies me is that I will be a leader of the country, of all American people, that people will trust and admire [me] because I will understand. I have walked in their shoes. I'm on both sides of the equation. I'm somebody who has been... who is successful, I'm somebody who came from the projects and I understand the American people" Schultz stated. 

Cartoonists have jumped in on the movement to bash Schultz. Jen Sorensen, the creator of the cartoon “Billionaire Buttinsky,” shared her views and concerns with his running. “I found it fun to draw Schultz, even if he’s not the most easily caricaturable in terms of physical appearance. What makes him so mockable is his attitude that he’s bringing bold new insights into the political conversation, when all he does is spew self-aggrandizing platitudes. He’s so out of step with the political moment, it would be hilarious, except for the fact that he could do real damage,” Sorensen said. Her cartoon depicts Schultz trying, with no luck, to gain the attention and support of voters.

Courtesy: Jen Sorensen

 

Since the former CEO has caused quite a stir, Starbucks has given baristas instructions on how to handle customers who feel the need to share and try to discuss their strong political opinions at the counter. According to their weekly newsletter, they should respond by stating that they “respect everyone’s opinion,” and that their “goal is simply to create a warm and welcoming space where we can all gather, as a community, over great coffee.”

Whether or not Schultz will officially step into the race is unknown. He plans to tour the early caucus and primary states before he makes the big decision.