Howard Schultz didn’t answer a single question

Howard Schultz, the Starbucks multibillionaire who is publicly mulling an independent run for president in 2020, spent a bit more than an hour as the star of a CNN town hall forum to talk about his potential candidacy. What he didn’t do was answer the questions.

If you’ve read anything about it, you know that many Democrats are worried that if he runs, he might hurt the Democratic nominee more than Donald Trump — and that that might result in Trump’s re-election. He said he wouldn’t, but he didn’t promise to drop out if it looked like that might be the result. That’s just one example of a question he responded to but didn’t answer.

From the first question to the last, I didn’t hear one Schultz response that actually answered the question he was asked, and he was asked quite a few. It was – I don’t want to say impressive, because it was the opposite of that – but it was amazing.

He doesn’t like Trump. He’s a long-time Democrat, but doesn’t agree with the Democrats on several issues now. He’s been a moderate liberal, but the party is moving too far left for him. He started out poor with an abusive father and he’s richer than God now and not comfortable with some lefty Democratic talk about soaking the rich through taxes. He’s offended by some references to a very high marginal tax rate for the very rich. He says some tax increases would be good (no specifics) — but definitely not that super-high marginal rate on the wealthiest.

He came across as very earnest and kinda nice, unless you attach a lot of importance to straight talk.

I do attach a fair amount of importance to that. I’ve seen many a politician fall short of my standards of candor and clear stands on the issues. But as the hour-plus wore on, I was waiting ever-more-hopelessly for him to take a stand on an issue and clearly state what he would try to do about it as president. Maybe there was one, but I missed it. Several times, he fell back on the excuse that he hasn’t decided yet whether to run. If that works for you, he’s your guy.

I haven’t found a link to a CNN video of the whole thing, but this page contains a whole of excerpts. If you decide to go through them, I’m asking you to do what I did. After each question, ask yourself what would constitute a straightforward, substantive answer. According to me, on that basis, he scored roughly zero on almost every question. If you bent over backward to grade on the curve, maybe on a couple of the questions you could give him a gentleman’s C instead of an F. But I’m not that much of a gentleman.

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Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 02/13/2019 - 01:06 pm.

    He may be a Democrat, but he’s not a moderate liberal, he’s a moderate conservative. That seems to be a problem with Democrats.

    There’s a video of him discussing his “values” and leadership bouncing around the Facebook. It’s always funny when these guys share their “wisdom” which invariably turns out to be little more than vapid cliche with production values. I suspect the reason Schultz can’t answer any questions is because he hasn’t had to produce anything of substance in many many years. It always reminds me of Douglas Adams’s third ship of dull intellects that’s crashed on Earth.

  2. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 02/13/2019 - 01:08 pm.

    He sounded like a “moderate deficit hawk” to me.

  3. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 02/13/2019 - 02:57 pm.

    Just because he’s rich doesn’t mean he’s qualified in any field other than running his business.
    And just because he’s a better businessman than Trump doesn’t mean that he’d be any better as President.
    As you say, his public statements have about as much statement as a cup of decaf.

    • Submitted by Raj Maddali on 02/15/2019 - 05:26 am.

      Hillary Clinton was a career politician. And she got bamboozled in the primary/caucus game by a novice (Obama). Just sayin’.

      Being a businessman doesn’t disqualify one. Bloomberg ran New York pretty well. Well at least better than career politicians.

  4. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 02/13/2019 - 02:58 pm.

    I hear the ghosts of Ralph Nader and Ross Perot floating in the air.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 02/13/2019 - 04:53 pm.

      All the more reason for Democrats to put up a strong candidate with a powerful message and popular agendas. It’s what they’ll have to do to win in a three-way race, and if wins in a three way race, it will certainly win in a two way of Schultz stays out. Either way this is no time seek safe harbor.

    • Submitted by Misty Martin on 02/14/2019 - 01:37 pm.


      So do I. I hear them as well. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Submitted by Jack Lint on 02/14/2019 - 03:53 pm.

      Since both Nader and Perot are still alive, maybe the ghosts of George Wallace or Harry F. Byrd?

  5. Submitted by Misty Martin on 02/14/2019 - 01:40 pm.

    I meant to answer Mr. Paul Brandon on the ghosts of those who had run as Independents previously in history. Sorry, Mr. Udstrand. I replied in the wrong place.

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