Friends of Howard Schultz, the outspoken liberal CEO of Starbucks, are urging him to run as a Democrat for president as an alternative to Hillary Clinton.
According to Maureen Dowd, the New York Times columnist, “potent friends of America’s lord of latte, Howard Schultz, have been pressing him to join the Democratic primary, thinking the time is right for someone who’s not a political lifer.”
“For the passionate 62-year-old — watching the circus from Seattle — it may be a tempting proposition,” Dowd wrote.
“After coming up from the housing projects in Brooklyn, Schultz reimagined Starbucks and then revived it,” Dowd wrote. “He has strong opinions, and even position papers, about what he calls the fraying American dream. While he was promoting his book on veterans last year, he honed a message about making government work again and finding ‘authentic, truthful leadership.’”
Like political-outsider businessman Donald Trump, leading polls in the Republican primary, Schultz is very wealthy, with a Forbes-estimated net-worth of $3 billion.
As leader of the coffee chain, Schultz has not shied away from promoting his liberal views: in 2013, for example, he banned gun-owners from carrying in stores. Earlier this year, he ordered the company’s baristas to scribble “Race Together” on coffee cups, an apparent attempt to provoke conversations about race.
In the same column, Dowd reported that Vice President Joe Biden is also exploring the idea of entering race sometime this summer.
The speculation about more challengers to Clinton comes as self-described Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders has been attracting large crowds from the hard left, and Clinton continues to face questions about her email practices and the Benghazi attacks while secretary of state.