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Starbucks CEO Wants To Run For President, Entire World Has Same Reaction

Former Starbucks CEO and current billionaire Howard Schultz wants everyone to know he’s very serious about running for president as “a centrist independent” candidate. He also wants you to know he has a book coming out (From The Ground Up, get it?) but that’s surely just some coincidence.

Schultz has been on a media blitz to share his Very Serious Thoughts about mounting a presidential campaign, and they sound like the same kind of centrist nonsense you’d expect from a “fiscally conservative but socially liberal” old rich white businessman who’s politically ignorant but doesn’t know it.

His number one policy concern is the deficit, which he thinks is too big. His number one political concern seems to be that the parties are both equally “too extreme,” which isn’t close to being true. It’s this false centrist narrative—and the team of consultants he’s paying—that has led Schultz to hallucinate some broad path to the presidency, straight down what he perceives to be “the middle.”

He would have cut taxes, but maybe not so much for corporations and maybe a little more for those at the lower end of the income distribution. (Any tax cut, it’s worth mentioning, grows the deficit, so maybe he’s not as concerned about it as he suggests.)

That’s about as much detail as we have on Schultz’s tax policy, because when he was asked about specifics he said, “I don’t want to talk in the hypothetical about what I would do as president.” Good to know! This should be a remarkably short presidential campaign.

And it should be, his campaign is doomed right out of the gate. Simply put, there’s no constituency for Schultz’s bland “platform.” He wants to reduce the deficit, but maybe not through the very popular method of taxing wealthy people and corporations more. He also wants to cut entitlement spending, which is so unpopular not even Republicans are pretending otherwise anymore. Medicare for all and a jobs guarantee? Schultz doesn’t think those things are realistic.

Schultz seems to be encouraged by polls that show a plurality of voters consider themselves to be “independent,” but when you dig a little deeper into the polling data it becomes clear that these so-called “independents” are actually secret partisans who reliably vote for one of the two major parties. You can’t cobble together a coalition of these “independents” because they want very different things, and the things they do agree on are things Schultz has already ruled out.

The only things left to run on are the kind of boilerplate bumper sticker slogans every political candidate embraces—“America is good,” “We need a strong economy,” and “Let’s come together as a nation.” ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Still, Democrats are worried his anti-Trump posturing could siphon off enough swing state voters to hand Trump another electoral college victory. To discourage Schultz from ultimately embarrassing himself and possibly dooming the country to another four years of Trump as president, liberals, leftists, and others are roasting Schultz on Twitter even harder than Starbucks roasts their beans.

Schultz is getting knocked for his vanity:

The folly of his corporate agenda masquerading as “centrism”:

And just generally being out of touch, while pretending he’s speaking for some hidden “silent majority”:

It also turns out, in a surprise to exactly no one, Schultz isn’t very generous (guess that’s just “fiscal conservatism”:

(Here’s another hilarious thread if you’re interested.)

Trump responded to Schultz’s presidential trial balloon by basically daring him to jump in:

Some people think Trump is being strategic by taunting Schultz to get in the race, knowing he would pull votes from a Democratic challenger. Maybe so! Then again, maybe he’s just reflexively lashing out at someone who criticized him.