It is never too late to be an asshole in an election, but I had forgotten that bad coffee king Howard Schultz had announced he was thinking as running as a “centrist independent” for president in 2020. Turns out that Schultz is taking a “summer hiatus.” Frankly, he can go into exile in Siberia for all I care. But what is amazing is the apparent tree failing in a forest with no one around aspect of this news.
Remember how there was panic by some Democrats that Howard Schultz would draw votes from a Democratic nominee with his “centrist independent” label? And there was some justification that Schultz would get undeserving media attention because he was 1) a billionaire and 2) slapped those two words together that the media and some voters swoon over — centrist independent. And CNN went out and provided Schultz with a townhall to explain all his terrific centrist independent ideas.
Before he got that gig, there were many who took Schultz at his word that he is simply pissed off that his taxes would go up under a Democratic president, and he wants none of that. And the rest of his positioning was typical corporate guy who wants more money by redistributing it from the poor and eldlerly with Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security cuts. And sensible voices pointed out that Schultz was taking positions that only a small percentage of voters supported — economic conservatism with a veneer of social liberalism.
It’s why I hate to hear the word “centrist” thrown around. But I digress…
Anyway, the CNN townhall was a flop. How can I tell? When you have lost that worthless Beltway pundit Chris Cillizza, who do you have in your corner?
Not-yet-announced-but-almost-certain-to-run-as-an-independent-presidential-candidate Howard Schultz shared a town hall stage with CNN's Poppy Harlow in Houston on Tuesday night, fielding questions from voters about his time as the founder of Starbucks, his views on issues like taxes and health care and whether he would keep running if it looked liked he might hand President Donald Trump a second term.It was, by turns, weird, awkward and difficult to watch — at the same time, oddly, being hard to turn away from, sort of like when you see someone slip on a banana peel and can't help but watch the inevitable fall that ensues. He criticized both parties for their extremism but offered almost no solutions of his own. He tried to paint himself as a straight-talker but repeatedly equivocated and deflected when asked hard questions.Not, uh, good. Don't believe me? Check out some of these klunkers offered up by Schultz on Tuesday.
The bold is my doing. And Cillizza goes on to show how 13 of Schultz’s answers to questions during that townhall were awful. IMHO Cillizza is someone who would love to see Democrats in disarray, and his review of Schultz’s performance was like being voted off The Gong Show.
And here we have Schultz with this announcement several months later.
Couldn’t happen to a nicer corporate guy.