One thing former Starbucks CEO and potential Independent 2020 candidate Howard Schultz has demonstrated is his unflappable faith that should he run against Trump, he has a very high potential to win, though the numbers and history just aren’t with him. Whoever is convincing him that he’ll perform well must be good at his job.
According to Politico, we know now that it’s Steve Schmidt, former chief strategist to John McCain’s 2008 presidential run and Trump critic. According to Schmidt, despite all the backlash Schultz is experiencing, he may be the last, best hope for Democrats:
Asked whether Schultz’s potential entry into the race would throw the election to Trump, Schmidt said: “It seems that nobody who is speculating about that on Twitter has given any thought to the possibility that the Democratic Party nominates someone who is so far to the left that it guarantees Trump a reelection. And at that point, the only person who would theoretically be able to stop Trump from a second term is a centrist candidacy of someone like Schultz.”
Schmidt said, “There’s a question that he poses. And the question is a pretty simple one: Is this it? Are we fated to be in this duopoly in perpetuity? Is this the best that we can hope for, or is there potentially a disruption that could occur? We have 57 choices of ketchup and 500 TV channels. Very nearly everything has been disrupted in the country, from how we buy groceries to how we consume news, except for the system that produces the political leadership of the country.”
While normally this could be written off as paid political positivity, Schmidt might actually have a point. The Democratic party is embracing a new radicalism that brings them further and further into the social justice, identitarian left. In fact, Democrats have already begun grumbling about the fact that the three most supported leaders within the Democratic party are white men.
Pair that with the fact that Sen. Kamala Harris’s CNN Town Hall was it’s most-watched single candidate Town Hall ever, and you start to see some solid shapes taking form in the 2020 fog. Schmidt may be correct, and the Democrats are planning on shooting themselves in the foot before the race begins by embracing someone too far to the left for America to vote for.
If that is the case, then Schultz is well positioned in the center.
Still, it’s unlikely that Schultz will pull out a victory against a unified Republican party, especially with Democrats still voting for Democrats despite their dislike of the candidate. He’ll just do better than expected. In all likelihood, Schultz will split the vote and hand Trump the victory.
This realization has sent Democrats into full panic mode, with everyone from hecklers to Elizabeth Warren raising their voices in protest and attack.