Starbucks is known for its coffee, but it now might become famous in the political landscape too. Its ex-CEO, Howard Schultz, announced last week he will run for the 2020 presidential elections.
Donald Trump, mocked Schultz’ declaration. He commented on Twitter that Schultz would not have “the guts” to be a candidate.
As a response, Schultz said that “like most people, I’ve become bored with President Trump and his tweets”. So, what is expected to happen and why are the two men competing so abruptly? Analysis.
When beans turn into gold
Howard Schultz has a success story that American popular culture loves. Raised in a social housing among a poor Brooklyn Jewish family, Schultz grew up with the authority of a former army trooper father.
At 18, he received an athletic scholarship to study at the Michigan University. He then became the first person in his family to go to college.
In 1981, he joined Starbucks and had the idea to design a “Barista” experience as we know it now.
The original Starbucks founders sold their only retail unit to Schultz for US$3.8 million. Schultz renamed his first café “Starbucks” and then expanded the brand across the country. Within a few years, he made Starbucks the strongest store in the United States.
Schultz became widely famous in the United States for raising money successfully while his wife was pregnant with their first baby and that they were financial extremely limited. He is now worth US$3.3 billion.
Why success matters to be elected
While in some countries business has nothing to do with politics, success in affairs in the United States is key to be a viable candidate.
In a presidential run, success stories and storytelling are crucial. Each and every U.S President chose a specific angle to brand their career. Barack Obama was a successful lawyer, Ronald Reagan, a charming actor and Donald Trump, a confirmed real estate magnate.
As transparency is expected, it is no surprise that Schultz admitted he was not “the smartest person” in the room during his interview for 60 Minutes.
“In order to make great decisions about complex problems, I have to recruit and attract people who are smarter than me and more experienced, more skilled, and we’ve got to create an understanding that we need a creative debate in the room to make these kind of decisions,” Schultz said.
Schultz referred to his burn-out in 2000. Donald Trump took this opportunity to emphasize Schultz was not fit for the job. For Democrats, it might not be the most strategic choice either.
Read more: “Will Donald Trump declare a State of Emergency?“
Democrats are divided
Schultz announcement came also as a surprise for Democrats. The latters are mainly putting their bets on Joe Biden.
— Washington Democrats (@washdems) January 26, 2019
To many, Schultz’ announcement is not great news as it might facilitate Donald Trump’s re-election.
It's obvious. If we nominate someone w/ extreme positions that don't reflect the majority of Americans, then people like Schultz will run b/c they see an opportunity in the center with moderates. If that happens, Trump wins. We need a big tent candidate. https://t.co/XXNHKI18vI
— John Delaney (@JohnDelaney) January 27, 2019
Reacting to the Democratic Party’s cold shoulder, Schultz said he wanted to remain non-affiliated.
“I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, independent, Libertarian, Republican. Bring me your ideas. And I will be an independent person who will embrace those ideas. Because I am not, in any way, in bed with a party”.
At the moment, more than ten personalities have announced their candidacy for 2020. Primaries are set to happen next June.