Stateside Stories: All eyes on 2020–An Independent US President?

NewssliderUSA & Other Regions

Schultz receiving the Distinguished Business Leadership Award, during the Atlantic Council’s
Distinguished Leadership Awards dinner in Washington, D.C., May 10, 2018


By Mary Foran

With the government shutdown paused until February 15th and discontent among the masses, the Presidential election of 2020 doesn’t seem so far away.

In a surprising announcement, Howard Shultz, former Starbucks, of coffee fame, CEO says he is seriously considering a White House bid in 2020 as a “centrist independent”. Many Democrats are alarmed at this, claiming that a third-party run could split the anti-incumbent vote and help President Trump to be re-elected.

In an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, Shultz said, “I think lifelong Democrats and many, many more lifelong Republicans than Democrats realize they are looking for a home.” Shultz underscored his intention would be to stop Trump from winning re-election.

The wealthy businessman argued that if he runs, it would be to provide an alternative to American voters who don’t align with either major political party. “I can’t think of anything that is a more quintessential expression of our democracy than providing the American people with a choice that doesn’t have to be binary between the Republican and the Democrat.”

He added, “Why should the American people not have the choice of someone who is saying, ‘I’m not embedded with either party.’?” Shultz said that if he does decide to run he will embrace the best ideas of both parties. “All I want to do is bring the country together. And I know in my heart that our best days are ahead of us, but we must transform the way we’re doing our work as elected officials.”

In response to Shultz’s announcement, President Trump was quoted as tweeting: “Howard Shultz doesn’t have the guts to run for President”.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Shultz was quoted as saying: “Nobody wants to remove, and in a sense, fire President Trump more than me. I don’t believe he was qualified to be president, and how he has disrespected the office is so troubling to me.”

He went on to say,”The question I think we should all be asking ourselves is: at this time in America when there is so much evidence that our political system is broken–that both parties at the extreme are not representing the silent majority of the American people–isn’t there a better way?” (quoted from Twitter).

Former NY city mayor Mike Bloomberg has warned Shultz about the difficulty of an Independent bid, saying “given the strong pull of partisanship and the realities of the electoral college system, there is no way an Independent can win.”

Throwing their hats into the ring are a plethora of Democrats, including Senators Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, John Delaney, Former Maryland Rep., and Peter Buttigieg, Indiana mayor among other interested parties.the Southern border.

But it is still early days in the race for 2020, and President Trump still hasn’t gotten funding for the Mexican border barrier that provoked the recent government shutdown. He has threatened to declare a National Emergency to get the funding and proceed with his plan to stop drug-and-people trafficking along

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Images
Featured image/Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, CC BY 2.0
Gillibrand photo and campaign logo, PD