Howard Schultz, Who Everyone Hates, Promises He'll Drop Out If Dems Nominate 'Centrist' No One Will Like
Howard Schultz has a challenge for Democrats worried that his vanity campaign for president might help re-elect Donald Trump. While visiting The Washington Post Thursday -- presumably because their office security is lax -- the former Starbucks CEO claims his potential candidacy is only viable if Democrats nominate some radical "far-left" Democrat so far outside the mainstream they might as well be Justin Trudeau. However, if Democrats are responsible and nominate a nice, squishy "moderate," that would change everything.
SCHULTZ: I would reassess the situation if the numbers change as a result of a centrist Democrat winning the nomination.
It's unclear how Schultz defines "centrist Democrat." The names Joe Biden and Mike Bloomberg, who isn't an actual Democrat, were mentioned, and they are certainly white men. MSNBC recently aired a graphic of "2020 Democrats To Watch" that were entirely white men, because that's obviously what this campaign is missing. But Schultz doesn't "see color," so we know he's only talking about policies. Based on his broadsides so far against Democrats, especially Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren, his ideal "centrist" candidate would not raise taxes on "people of means" like himself, expand Medicare, or support the Green New Deal. So ... basically Mitt Romney. He wants us to nominate "varmint killer" Romney and then he promises to go away and count his money. When guys like Schultz say we need a "centrist Democratic nominee," they really just want a polite Republican.
Schultz is trying to turn a spoiler campaign into a hostage-taking exercise. "Nice chance you have here at getting rid of Trump. Be a shame if anything happened to it." His political protection racket would've gained more traction if Schultz hadn't opened his mouth in public and made everyone hate him. Remember that centuries-long town hall that CNN foolishly devoted to Schultz? It tanked in the ratings, finishing third Tuesday night behind Fox and MSNBC. He drew a little more than half of the audience Kamala Harris commanded at her own town hall. This is because Harris is a real candidate real people care about.
Democrats might've been scared of Schultz a couple weeks ago, but now they feel more comfortable telling him to go fuck himself.
"People are not going to waste their vote on that," said Jaime Harrison, associate chair of the DNC and a former South Carolina state party chair.
Politico revealed in a piece yesterday that Democrats are even starting to pity Schultz, as if he's a sad old man, recently retired, who shows up at the grocery store in his bathrobe. He just wants to get out of the house.
"I feel bad for him at this point," said Tina Podlodowski, the state Democratic Party chairwoman in Schultz's home state of Washington.
Podlodowski noted that in a short amount of time, Schultz has managed to unite "most everyone in the United States," from young people to seniors, in the shared belief that he's a putz they'd never vote for under any circumstance.
Appearing at an event Thursday with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who needs to fire her agent's ass, Schultz mentioned he was "thinking about running for president." No one in the room was pleased. Schultz tried to lighten the mood with terrible jokes.
SCHULTZ: If you've seen the press I've gotten the last three weeks, I think we could use a little decaf now.
Hi yo! Maybe Ocasio-Cortez has a point: It's hardly evidence of a moral system that someone as milquetoast and obnoxious as Schultz is a billionaire. It's not like he invented coffee. He just figured out how to burn it and charge you $5 for it.
When a student practically begged Schultz to provide some rationale for his candidacy, Schultz could only knock the "revenge politics" of the two-party system, shout about "socialism," and lament the "sense of sadness in the country." Imagine going your whole life as Howard Schultz and still thinking you could somehow cheer up the country at this critical point through the sheer force of your blandness.
Schultz vowed not to stop torturing us with his presence until at least late spring, maybe even early summer.
SCHULTZ: That decision will be made because I will have done the work, the research, the polling to believe that the math will work. If we look at the results of all the research we're doing and all the data and it's clear that there's no path, I'm not going to do anything to be a disruptive force. But I do believe at this moment in time that it's too early to make that kind of decision and it's too early to rush to judgment.
Oh, for the love of Bebe Neuwirth, no one is going to vote for him! Ever! How many times do we have to say it? We've heard him, and the answer is a firm "no." Not yes or maybe -- no. We will never vote for Schultz.
Schultz wants us to believe we're all ultimately on the same side and promised he'd do everything "humanely possible" (we hate that expression, by the way) to prevent Trump's re-election.
SCHULTZ: I can promise you all nobody wants to see [Trump] fired more than me.
OMG, he keeps repeating that weakass line like it's his "Hasta la vista, baby!" He actually paid someone to write that "zinger" for him. Please just end this! And no, we're not nominating some Steve Schmidt/Max Boot/Tom Nichols-approved "centrist" Democrat born in a focus group. We'll do anything to make Howard Schultz go away, but we won't do that.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."