By Britt Terrell
Howard Schultz's philanthropic efforts and commitment to liberal causes may make him an appealing Democratic candidate. But Schultz, the outgoing executive chairman of Starbucks, could have a difficult time with some liberals if he decides to run for office.
"I wonder if the left wing of the Democratic Party would be receptive to somebody who has CEO at the top of their resume," said Eric Boehm, a reporter at Reason.com. "I think Schultz will face some push-back from that."
In an interview Tuesday with CNBC, Schultz may have invited push-back when he said some Democrats have unrealistic expectations of what government can do.
"It concerns me that so many voices within the Democratic Party are going so far to the left. I say to myself, 'How are we going to pay for these things?'" Schultz said in reference to popular liberal proposals like single-payer healthcare and government-supported full employment efforts. "I don't think that's something realistic," he added.
Schultz, who announced on Monday he would step away from Starbucks, the company he ran as chief executive or chairman for about 30 years, said he is considering a number of options for his future. Public service is one of them, but even he acknowledged in his CNBC interview that his corporate background could complicate a run for office.
Still, with another businessman occupying the White House, it's difficult to dismiss the potential positives of Schultz's experience in a matchup with Donald Trump. And Schultz's history of incorporating liberal issues as part of Starbucks' public image may be appealing to many mainstream Democrats and centrist voters.
"He knows that companies have to make money and he has done that in a way while still having liberal values," said Ed Carson, a news writer at Investor's Business Daily in an interview with Cheddar. "And I think that would be an effective combination both in the Democratic primary and in the general election."
Boehm also cited Schultz's business pedigree and his experience managing a business from start-up to multinational success as a counter narrative to President Donald Trump's own story as successful businessman.
"He could put his resume, taking a small coffee chain from Seattle and turning it into a globe-dominating brand, he could put that right up against Donald Trump's supposed resume, which includes numerous bankruptcies and business failures," Boehm said, adding that Schultz could make the case to the voters: "Hey, if you want a business man in the White House, maybe it should be me."
For the full interview, click here.