In a speech delivered at Miami-Dade College potential Presidential hopeful Howard Schultz spoke to a crowd of students and gave a stump speech that appears to be establishing his as yet unannounced candidacy. The one time Democrat has registered as an independent, a move expected to lead to his desire to run as a third party candidate for the 2020 general election. But he is going to need to ramp up the energy if he has any hope of motivating people.
This attempt at a candidacy would be a move that worries Democrats, who feel he would be in a position to split their votes. Schultz has been unperturbed by the complaints from the left that were he to run it will deliver a second term win for President Trump, stating he directly opposes the President and intends to defeat him.
Today’s speech was not a motivational powerhouse as it was more clearly designed to establish Schultz as a centrist. It was a speech that was long on listing of problems in the country while being short on actual solutions. Mainly we heard that he is not Donald Trump, and is not a Democrat, but not too terribly much on who he is. This is a challenge, given Schultz’s low-energy demeanor from the stage.
Schultz talked up his company’s accomplishments, mentioning how he delivered healthcare and stock options for even part time employees, and that four year college tuition was even available. This was his springboard into why he should run, stating these type of investments couldn’t be done in a successful company, according to his critics..
“Over the past few weeks I’ve heard a similar refrain as I’ve travelled the country discussing that I am seriously considering running for President. as a centrist independent, outside of the 2-party system.” He then launched into the laundry list of issues as he sees facing the nation; healthcare, immigration, climate change, our schools, gerrymandering, and student debt were all mentioned. Solutions, of course were not offered up for the quiet crowd.
One of the issues was toughest to take – income inequality. Hearing this liberal platitude coming from an established billionaire is always a tough lecture to endure. Then he finally dug into the foamy head of his talk, and that is the general character issue in our country. President Trump was name-checked as the leading cause of the divisiveness in the culture, with mentions of how he has threatened democracy, free speech, and a host of other liberties.
Democrats were not spared either. Schultz detailed how the response to Trumpism by Democrats has produced another brand of extremism that has become unacceptable. He then took time to condemn socialism – maybe the clearest stance of his division with his former party. “Socialist ideals cannot be sustained financially,” he said in his overly calm delivery.
He has ideas for the economy that appear, at least in his generalizations, as confounding. He declares that a free market economy must be preserved, but then he goes further to say the free market in this country must be transformed. “It is time for a renewed era of capitalism,” he asserted, in a tone that might have been deemed ominous, if he were capable of such inflection.
“Should I decide – I will not be beholden to either party or ideology.” This was followed by a promise that no law would be passed without bipartisan support. This duality was a common theme in his monotone delivery. I guess when referencing how he was not a part of both parties that talking out of both sides of his mouth was inevitable.
One thing I will say about the former Starbucks coffee empire CEO; once done talking I certainly felt the need for my own caffeine infusion.