Former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, plans to deliver a policy speech at Purdue University on Thursday. Schultz has burst onto the scene in recent weeks, as he considers running as an independent in the next US presidential elections.
On Thursday, he plans to expand upon his view of an independent presidential campaign, clearly ridiculing the entrenched problems associated with the country’s two-party system. Indeed, Schultz represents a clear threat to the Democrats’ chances in the next presidential elections. While a Schultz victory would appear unlikely should he run, Democrats fear he could help President Trump regain election by splitting the vote.
Who is Howard Schultz?
Born in Brooklyn in 1953 to a poor Jewish family, Schultz was the first person in his family to attend College. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication in 1975, before working as a salesman for the Xerox Corporation. He began working with Starbucks in the early 1980s. After disputes with the owners regarding the direction of the company, he left in 1985. He raised the capital to open a store of his own before the original Starbucks management sold the retail unit to him.
The rest is history. The Starbucks brand has grown internationally, despite encountering growth problems in the late 2000s, during which Schultz re-assumed the role of CEO to realign the business’ strategy. He is now worth approximately $2.9 billion.
The presidential campaign
Schultz left Starbucks in 2018, citing his desire to possibly run for President in 2020. Schultz’ proposition to run as an independent has sparked heated responses from Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren. Despite this, Schultz believes his campaign won’t facture the democratic vote, suggesting he won’t be a ‘spoiler’ in the hope of re-electing President Trump.
In an interview with Chicago Ideas’ Mellody Hobson, Schultz outlined his vision for the United States. A self-made billionaire, Schultz wants to end the divisiveness of current politics and focus on domestic issues plaguing the US. Reflecting on his own life story, Schultz wants to restore faith in the American Dream, introduce poverty reform and end the racial divide.
While President Obama focused on healthcare and President Trump focuses on border security and trade, Schultz has teased that his spotlight concern would be financial security for the American household. Whilst he has not officially confirmed he will run, he has hinted that a firm decision could come soon.