Last Sunday, Howard Schultz of Starbucks renown announced he would explore a presidential run as a third-party centrist. Democrats attacked: He’d siphon away enough voters to give Trump a victory. Trump supporters celebrated. But let’s look closer.

While Schultz stands head and shoulders above Trump as a human being (and businessperson), I’m also not thrilled he’s exploring a presidential run. Of course, he’ll be his own man beholden to no one; he has enough money to fund his campaign. But Howard Schultz isn’t prepared to be president no matter how noble his thoughts and how civil his demeanor.

Disclosure: In my novel San Café, I drew on Starbucks for Mobys, the coffee-hustling corporation that seeks to control the affairs of the Central American nation of San Cristo. I presented Mobys’ chairman as a right-wing megalomaniac. He was not patterned on Howard Schultz. 

That said, Schultz has no experience in government. To many voters, that’s attractive—a man uncorrupted by the system. It’s also folly. Lack of government experience—witness Donald Trump—can be disastrous despite soundness of character (Schultz, not Trump). Example: several days ago, Trump called his senior intelligence officials “naïve.” Government’s complexities far exceed those of a private company or corporation. So do the consequences of its failings.

Michael Bloomberg, former Democratic mayor of New York, advised Schultz that he has no shot as an independent. Bloomberg may throw his hat in the ring as a Democrat. Yes, he’s a business titan (also way more successful than Trump). but 12 years in New York’s city hall offered preparation to take on the office’s challenges.

So, by this fall or winter at the latest, Howard Schultz will—pardon me—wake up and smell the venti-cinnamon-shortbread-latte-whipped-cream-for-sure.  He’ll also be done promoting his new book.  Howard Schultz will not run against Donald Trump. 

No one will.

“Donald Trump 2020” may cause the hearts of his MAGA base to flutter, but Trump is toxic. And you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The Office of the Special Commissioner, aka Robert Mueller III, is tightening the noose on Trump and those closest to him. This is no rush to judgment. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said this week that Mueller is close to wrapping up his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. If Whitaker thinks Mueller’s report will appear in February or March, he’s wishing under the influence. 

The end, however, is approaching. Mueller obtained seven indictments against Trump sidekick Roger Stone. Stone approached WikiLeaks when requested by a “senior campaign official.” That official was prompted by a “higher up.” Mueller knows who they are. They know Mueller knows. Expect more indictments at the highest levels, very possibly including one or more of the Trump family—Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner. 

When will Mueller release his report? May, June or early September. Summer’s a bad time. The report will provide American voters and politicians what they need to go forward. I suspect it also will reveal that Trump instructed someone to pursue the Russia-WikiLeaks connection or was advised about it and remained silent. Result: His resignation sometime between impeachment—unless he wakes up and smells the coffee (from McDonald’s)—and trial in the Senate. 

That will leave him even farther on the sidelines than Howard Schultz.

To respond, click on “comments” to the right just below the title of this post. Then go to the response space at the bottom of the post.


  1. Jerry on February 1, 2019 at 7:07 pm


    I sure hope that you are right.


    • David on February 1, 2019 at 7:15 pm

      Only time will tell, Jerry. Of course, if I had a crystal ball, I’d be wealthier than Howard Schultz. But I wouldn’t run for president.

  2. Bruce Abramson on February 1, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    I think you miss a central point, David. Progressivism is a genuine threat. The Obama years were terrifying. It was entirely unclear whether America’s Jewish community could have continued had Clinton won. Trump has given us a brief respite, but things keep getting hairier among the Democrats. Schultz understands how damaging progressivism is–that’s why he left the Dems. To the extent that he can help bury progressivism, power to him. Mind you, I don’t plan to vote for him, but unlike nearly any of the Democrats thinking about running, I’m not afraid of what life would look like in Schultz’s America.

    • David on February 1, 2019 at 10:39 pm

      Bruce, I agree that Schultz as president would not be bad for America—relative to Trump—or the Jewish community with the caveat that I don’t think he’s prepared for the job. And, I’m not a progressive. So I personally favor a center-left Democrat. Who emerges remains to be seen.

      That said, stay warm. I believe the digital mercury in New York is rising.

    • Jim shay on February 1, 2019 at 11:05 pm

      Very well said, Bruce.

      • David on February 1, 2019 at 11:26 pm

        Jim—and Bruce: Progressivism is going to be an issue in the Democratic primaries. The question is, if a progressive is chosen as the nominee, will he or she move towards the middle as candidates tend to do (not all) or maintain that philosophy?

  3. Marty Weiner on February 3, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    I agree with you totally including your timeline.
    Footnote: You may recall that in my 2017 Yom
    Kippur sermon I predicated that Meuller would
    get Trump.

    • David on February 5, 2019 at 4:56 am

      We’ll wait and see, Marty. I say again that Mueller will reveal the motivation for Trump’s fondness for Russia and willingness to have them interfere in the 2016 election: his involvement with Russian loans, equity positions in Trump companies and money laundering. If I’m wrong, Mueller will have demonstrated that, and I’ll put the matter to rest with a big apology. I think, however, that the United States is going to be very embarrassed save for hard-core Trump supporters who will not resonate to facts and logic.

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