Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks who helped make the company what it is today, may be running against Donald Trump for the 2020 presidency.
Schultz had stepped down from his position as CEO of the coffee giant last December, prompting speculation that he was eying a run for the presidency. During that time Schultz had said he wasn’t sure if he would run but did indicate he may be more qualified than our current president.
“There is very big difference between someone who has run a global enterprise like myself, who has traveled to China probably more than any other CEO in the last 10 years, and who understands those issues, versus someone who has run a private company with very little fiduciary responsibilities to other shareholders,” Schultz had said in an interview on CNBC.
He had also said, “President Trump has given license to the fact that someone who is not a politician could potentially run for the presidency. I can’t be nailed down today on what I might or might not run for.”
“My concern (is) for the country. I think we can do much better. I think the political class as a whole has been reckless,” he added.
It has been reported recently that Schultz has assembled a group of PR experts. The elite public relations team has been assembled as he prepares to release his new book also.
As part of the team is Steve Schmidt, who was the former vice chairman at public relations company Edelman. Schmidt had managed Republican Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008. He is also a political analyst for MSNBC and has left the Republican party this year.
“Mr. Schultz has known Mr. Schmidt for a number of years through his work at Edelman,” Schultz’s spokeswoman said to CNBC. “Mr. Schultz values Steve’s insights and they have stayed in touch,” she added.
“I certainly believe in the abstract people coming from the business into politics, particularly a run for president, they need someone around them. They need to have people familiar to them to help them,” remarked Thomas Rath, a New Hampshire Republican operative.
“Others like Schmidt would be invaluable. Steve has seen so much. He would have a sense as to what the calendar means,” Rath said. “He would know how to hunt delegates and a keen sense as to how best to raising money.”