Can This Candidacy *Not* Be Saved? Howard Schultz Death Watch 2019
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced his presidential ambitions on Sunday's "60 Minutes." By Monday, everyone hated him. He spent the next few days on a media tour intended to introduce himself to voters and showcase his bridled charisma. Tuesday, he whined about the poors coming after his billions with fellow useless rich person Meghan McCain on "The View." Wednesday, he embarrassed himself further on "Morning Joe." When you visit MSNBC's number one hack house, you should expect to field at least a couple softball questions. Co-host Mika Brzezinski gently tossed a few over the plate to him, and Schultz just flailed his hands and shouted, "Not in the face, please! Not in the face!"
MIKA: What qualifies you to be president of the United States?
SCHULTZ: What qualifies me to be president...
Wait, he's repeating the question? That's what you do when you don't know the answer and are just stalling for time. Is he having the political version of the "actor's nightmare"? "What? I'm the lead in your regional production of President Schmuck? I've never even seen a script. 'Uh... to be or not to be that is... the... LINE!'"
SCHULTZ: [It's] my life experience. People are gonna think it's my Starbucks experience, but it's what I've learned along the way. It's a real understanding that someone has to restore the promise of America and what qualifies me is that I will be a leader of a country of all American people that people will trust and admire because people will understand I have walked in their shoes. I'm on both sides of the equation. I'm someone who's successful. I'm someone who's come from the projects. I understand the American people.
MIKA: Who is the best Republican president in the past 50 years. Best Dem?
That's sweet. Mika saw Schultz dying up there and asked him a question that's the subject of an average fifth grader's essay assignment.
SCHULTZ: I have great respect for Ronald Reagan... The thing I took from Ronald Reagan, besides all the wonderful things he did, that really struck me, especially compared to the current person who is despicable in the Oval Office: Ronald Reagan never took his jacket off in the Oval Office.
A fifth grader would get an "F" for yada-yada-ing Reagan's actual policies as "all the wonderful things he did." Is Schultz off to see
the wizard? If he manages to score some brains, Schultz might realize that Donald Trump almost always wears a suit during his ongoing infestation of the White House. The Gipper, on the other hand...
That was the first part of Mika's GED essay question. Let's see how Schultz did on the second part.
SCHULTZ: Democrat? FDR.
Wow. Franklin Delano Roosevelt died in 1945. Schultz is 65. Does he believe FDR was president when he was in high school? Also, FDR was the founder of the New Deal. Paul Ryan's workout regimen involves hitting a punching bag in a wheelchair with FDR's face on it. If Schultz loves FDR but is ragging on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren, he's either a moron or a sexist. Maybe both. The day's still early.
Richard Nixon, often confused for FDR, was the president when Schultz was old enough to vote. Did Schultz go with Dick, McGovern, or some random rich moron who peddled burnt coffee? Perhaps none of the above. Mr. Civics isn't big on voting.
The Seattle Times reported that Schultz has cast a ballot in just 11 of 38 elections since 2005. He's skipped most state and local elections, not bothering to vote for mayor or in any city council elections. Trump's voting record is actually better. [Editrix here with a TO BE FAIR: That is 38 elections in 14 years, or almost three a year every year, and that is ridiculous. HOWARD SCHULTZ INNOCENT!!!]
Now here's where Schultz's focus-group-tested, prepackaged garbage about "understanding the American people" and "walking in their shoes" comes back to bite him.
MIKA: How much does an 18 ounce box of Cheerios cost?
Lady, the man's running for president, not trying to win "The Price Is Right." He's also not prepared to achieve either goal. Full disclosure: We don't even know this answer, and we have an almost-5-year-old whose blood type is "Cheerios."
SCHULTZ: I don't eat Cheerios. I'm sorry.
Of course not. He probably eats a bowl of caviar with steamed milk for breakfast. Still, as a successful businessman, he might know that most cereal brands are competitively priced so if he's bought even some Cap'n Crunch in the past few years, he could provide a rough estimate.
Some have claimed Mika befuddled and stumped Schultz with her "gotcha" questions. If that's true, he should drop out now. If you can't hold your own against Mika Brzezinski, you best not come for Kamala Harris. Mika's the Glass Joe of "Presidential Punch-Out!!"
Finally, Schultz had this to say about "fixing" health care.
SCHULTZ: As an independent person. I am not playing by those rules anymore. I am going to break the log jam [and say], 'Pharma, you know what you're going to do? You're going to negotiate with the government and we'll have complete transparency. If you don't, we are coming after you.
Uh, what? How? What?
When asked how Schultz planned to keep insurance premiums from skyrocketing (especially since he thinks all the Democrats' plans have cooties), he delivered this load of gibberish.
SCHULTZ: We bring in people smarter than myself with skills and experience beyond Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi in the room, get pharma in the room, get private enterprise in the room, and realize we all need to have skin in the game," Schultz said, referring to the pharmaceutical industry.
Here's an idea: Why don't we just vote for people smarter than Schultz? Several of them are already running for the Democratic nomination. Time to officially call this vanity campaign. Cause of death: Cereal.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).