Howard Shultz :
from Mocha Frappuccino to
Air Force One
By Berta Hyken

Howard Shultz, ex CEO of Starbucks has declared himself as “seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent.” Ex CEO of Starbucks Mr. Shultz is a man looking for a purpose. His life has been full of successful ventures and philanthropic endeavors. Running as an independent candidate eliminates the primary battles. It would be easier to gather sufficient signatures to get on each state’s ballot.

He probably feels that he has more to do, to give and to achieve. He considers the political system broken. I empathize with Mr. Shultz. To me both major political parties share the same basic bureaucracy. Politics precede all other objectives and the main purpose of each party is to preserve their identity, predominance and survival. I do not identify with any party. I, however, recognize that if someone wants to achieve political office (power) one must identify with a party if only for practical reasons. No matter how rich (remember Ross Perot) the presidency is bigger than one person. It takes a community to achieve political success.

The presidency is a huge drain on anyone who occupies that job. No matter how extensive a man’s lifetime skills may be the presidency requires “on the job training” and resiliency. Note: how all our presidents have aged from the time they take office to the time they leave. Gray hair and wrinkles predominate.

Politics is a nasty business. Nothing will be left unsaid. It is brutal for a politically aligned candidate and even more so for one with any major support group. You can be sure if Mr. Shultz runs religion will be a topic of discussion, covertly if not overtly. Senator Joe Lieberman was a prime example as a vice presidential candidate.

It is still early and there already have been candidates in and out of the race. I find the idea intriguing that Howard Shultz wants to run as a centrist candidate and feels that the only viable way to achieve that is as an independent. I am a little dubious that he will actually enter the race but he has influenced it by highlighting the polarization of both major political parties. A centrist presidential candidate although probably greatly desired by the majority of the country stands a snowball’s chance in Hades of being nominated by either major party.

If you want a challenge Mr. Shultz get active in your local community. When you want to do outreach work we can keep you busy here. We need to fund our kitchens. Coffee is always appreciated. 


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