Howard Schultz, Former Starbucks Chief, Won’t Run for President in 2020 – The New York Times

Within days of his announcement, Mr. Schultz was the subject of protests in his hometown, Seattle, the city where he built a modest coffee-bean retailer into a global behemoth and grew his wealth into the billions.

Mr. Schultz had long been a Democrat — an economically conservative, socially liberal businessman who worried aloud that the party had moved too far left. As he tested the waters on his book tour, he spoke of what he saw as a broken two-party system and a sizable chunk of moderate voters exhausted by political extremes.

“When I hear people espousing free government-paid college, free government-paid health care and a free government job for everyone — on top of a $21 trillion debt — the question is, how are we paying for all this and not bankrupting the country?” Mr. Schultz said.

Though Mr. Schultz insisted that there was no party for a candidate with conservative fiscal instincts and liberal social values like himself, several Democrats with more moderate views have entered the race, including Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Running as an independent was likely to only complicate Mr. Schultz’s path. Since 1860, only four minor-party candidates have won at least 10 percent of the vote.

In his letter on Friday, Mr. Schultz said that if he moved forward with a run, it was possible that his name would appear on ballots even if a moderate Democrat won the nomination — “not a risk I am willing to take,” he wrote.

Mr. Schultz also suffered a back injury in April, which he cited in his letter as another factor in his decision.


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