For a businessman who grew a small coffee roaster into an inescapable global chain, who ensured that even his part-time workers had benefits and who has given about $150,000 to Democratic campaigns, former Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz is generating tepid – or even hostile – responses within the party as he weighs a presidential bid in 2020.
The reason for this is simple: He may run as independent which, according to many, may “handily give the White House to President Trump.”
On paper, Schultz offers a number of qualities that might appeal to voters. He grew up in public housing in Brooklyn, New York, and became the first person in his family to graduate from college.
Related: Howard Schultz says Trump is “Not Qualified” to be President
He took over Starbucks when it sold only coffee beans, not cups – it had 11 stores and fewer than 100 employees at the time – and grew it into a global behemoth that now has close to 30,000 stores in 78 countries. Along the way he adopted an ethos of corporate responsibility, making Starbucks one of the earliest U.S. companies to offer stock options and health insurance even to part-time employees, and more recently partnering with Arizona State University to cover tuition for workers who want to earn their bachelor’s degree online.
Howard Schultz Is Jewish.