Of Course The Democrats Don’t Want Starbuck’s Howard Schultz To Run As An Independent

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This is not the most surprising political story so far in the electoral cycle – varied Democrats are unhappy with the idea that Howard Schultz, formerly of Starbucks, might have a tilt at the Presidency as an independent. For, as they correctly identify, he’s rather more likely to take votes off whoever the Democrat nominee is than he is to pull people away from Trumps’ base. This would then give Trump the opportunity to slip through in a three way tie. Wouldn’t that be a tragedy?

Top Democrats say they fear that an independent presidential run in 2020 by billionaire former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz would serve mainly to siphon off enough voters from the Democratic nominee to help hand President Donald Trump a second term. “I do share that concern, if he did run… it would provide Trump with his best hope for getting re-elected,” former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who recently announced his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Well, obviously Castro is worried as he thinks he’s got some vague chance of being that Democratic nominee. The rest of us might not think it’s much of one but still.

That’s partly because — as Schultz told “60 Minutes” on Sunday — he’s considering running as an independent, a prospect many worry could draw support from the eventual Democratic nominee and hand President Donald Trump another four years in office. Among those urging him not to run as an independent are David Axelrod, the former adviser to President Barack Obama, and Tina Podlodowski, the Democratic Party chairwoman in Washington state, where Schultz has lived for decades. “For somebody who is professing to be a lifelong Democrat, I think to be running as in independent in this particular cycle is not a wise thing to do,” Podlodowski said.

Our view around here is that of course Schultz should run. No, not because we carry any banner for Trump but because that’s the American way. Anyone can grow up to become President, that’s the American Dream. So, anyone should be able to have a run at it, no?

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Quentin VoleBarksintheCountryPatTD Recent comment authors
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TD
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TD

Of course he should be able to run. However, any third party candidate siphons voters off from the two main candidates, and one more than the other. Ross Perot certainly took votes from the first George Bush. Ralph Nader took them from Al Gore. Jill Stein (Green Party) took them from Hillary Clinton and Gary Johnson (Libertarian) took them from Trump, but interestingly for all the talk about how Clinton won more votes than Trump, the combined votes of Trump plus Johnson slightly exceeded the combined votes of Clinton plus Stein.

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

Yes, a weakness in the US Presidential electoral system is that the result may depend on which (and which type) of third party candidate(s) decide to run. The usual fix for this problem is to have a run-off between the top two candidates, if no-one gets over 50% of the vote (another solution is a transferable vote system). This delays proceedings for a week or two, but since the victor doesn’t officially take office for a couple of months, that ought not to be an issue.

BarksintheCountry
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BarksintheCountry

The ‘genius of the founders’ took care of this so-called weakness with the Electoral College.

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

Not really. If they all followed Nebraska and Maine and allocated Electoral College votes in proportion to votes cast, you would have a point.

Pat
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Pat

Dunno. One of Trump’s appeals was that he had achieved something outside of Politics. Schulz can claim at least some of that. He could potentially draw some Trump voters as well as some Dems