Howard Schultz, NOT HELPING

Thank God for corporate America, always supplying us with solutions for problems we didn't even know we had. Were you just thinking that a billionaire businessman swanning in to fuck up the 2020 presidential election was the last thing on earth that we need? Never fear, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has got you covered!

(Countdown to Twitter discovering this coat retails for $1,500 in 3 ... 2 ...)

Maverick Baller Schultz announced his potential candidacy on CBS's 60 Minutes Sunday night. Which is way better than some tacky rally with 20,000 people! If you want America's Nanas to know you're a serious young man, then you need to sit down with Scott Pelley. Showcasing his political acumen, Schultz boasted:

If I decide to run, not only will I be on the ballot of every state, all 50 states, but we'll be on the ballot in every county and every district, that we have done that work.

Ummmmm ... never mind.

And indeed, Schultz's audience of one has translated into engagement with many thousands of people online. He's NEVER going to be president, but with just four tweets to his name, Howard Schultz has just been elected Commander in Chief of the Twitter ratio. We salute you, sir!

Because Twitter is old enough to remember Jill Stein/Gary Johnson, Ralph Nader, and Ross Perot -- four pointless candidacies that managed to swing elections, with mostly disastrous results. But don't worry, because this time it will be different. Howard Schultz, a man who just bought a $40 million apartment, has his finger on the pulse! And he knows that Americans are sick of political parties and longing for some guy who's never run for dog catcher to swoop in and save the day.

Is this just an elaborate prank to cause Nate Silver to have a nervous breakdown? Because that's cold, dude.

The broad consensus is that Schultz would siphon votes from the Democratic candidate, clearing the way for Trump to squeak back into the White House for a second term, Godforbid. Nate Silver suggests it's more likely that Schultz is a place where Never-Trump Republicans can register their protest vote, eventually helping a prospective Democratic candidate. We're of the opinion that it's entirely dependent on the Democratic nominee -- voters who might choose Schultz over Kamala Harris (do we need to spell it out for you?) might make a different choice with Bernie Sanders or Sherrod Brown on the ballot. There's no way to predict, and we certainly don't want to find out.

For his part, Schultz is worried about ... anti-Semitism?

Uhhhh, okay.

There is one person excited about a Schultz run. President Couch Potato watched the 60 Minutes interview -- of course he did, he watches 12 hours of teevee a day -- and he's hitting that reverse Sigh-Coll-Oh-Gee hard. Gonna psych that Schultz guy out, like Sun Tzu!

He only hopes that Starbucks is still paying him rent in Trump Tower. America First! Where they ... already have "not the 'smartest person.'"

Schultz told Scott Pelley that he is fully prepared to spend $300-500 million of his own cash to fund a campaign, and unlike some people who are fake billionaires, Howard Schultz actually has $3.5 billion to back it up. But maybe he should take advice from another real billionaire, who has #Thoughts this morning on how rich people need to be spending their money this cycle, HOWARD. Take it away, Bloomberg.

Last fall I spent over $100 million of my own money to elect Democrats to the House because I believed it was absolutely imperative to ensure a congressional counterweight to President Trump.

Thankfully, we were successful. But that was just the first step — the next and most important step is to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.

Now I have never been a partisan guy — and it's no secret that I looked at an independent bid in the past. In fact I faced exactly the same decision now facing others who are considering it.

The data was very clear and very consistent. Given the strong pull of partisanship and the realities of the electoral college system, there is no way an independent can win. That is truer today than ever before.

In 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the President. That's a risk I refused to run in 2016 and we can't afford to run it now.

We must remain united, and we must not allow any candidate to divide or fracture us. The stakes couldn't be higher.

EXACTLY. Go home, Howard. Get out your checkbook, and quit fucking around with American democracy.

[CBS interview excerpts / Bloomberg Letter]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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