I was all set to sit down and write a column about how Donald Trump would never see a second term in the White House. About how he would look at the polls, determine that he didn’t stand a chance, tell America he accomplished more than any other president in the history of the planet – a booming economy, low unemployment, fewer regulations that suffocate business, the appointment of many conservative judges to the federal bench including two to the Supreme Court – declare victory and go back to his gilded penthouse on Fifth Avenue. About how if despite all this he decided to run anyway, how he wouldn’t win because he’d have to hold on to every state he won the last time around, about how he couldn’t count on Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to go his way a second time. About how he couldn’t count either on Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, or a bunch of other states that voted for him in 2016. That was the column I was going to write … and then … Howard Schultz came along.
Howard Schultz as you surely know is the guy who became a billionaire selling over-priced lattes to millions of Americans at the company he turned into an international brand, Starbucks. Mr. Schultz is seriously toying with the idea of running for president as an independent. He thinks Americans are tired of polarization, tired of both Democrats and Republicans, and yearn for someone like him, pretty much liberal on social issues conservative on economic issues, someone who he says won’t be influenced by special interests.
If you want Donald Trump in the White House for two terms, pray that Howard Schultz decides to run.
If he does, he’ll be a factor mainly in blue states. He’ll split, again mainly, the Democratic vote. He can call himself an independent all he wants, but everyone knows he’s a liberal independent. That spells doom for the Democrat nominee.
But wait, you might say Ross Perot ran as an independent and hurt George H.W. Bush, not Bill Clinton. Yes, but that’s because Perot was more Republican than Democrat, no matter how many times he called himself an independent.
Schultz’ candidacy is a long way from a sure thing. Democrats – and Never Trumpers – will beseech him not to run. They’ll tell him if he does, he’ll elect a man they and he detest. They’ll tell him he doesn’t stand a chance to actually win.
He may take their advice. Or he may not.
Going back to the column I was going to write, if it’s a race between Donald Trump and almost anybody there’s a good chance almost anybody would win. Enough Americans who voted for Mr. Trump the first time around, either because they wanted to give a brash billionaire who was different from every other politician a chance, or because they flat out loathed Hillary Clinton, may very well have grown weary of the non-stop chaos and controversy of his presidency.
And if the Democrats muster the courage to put a moderate (relatively speaking) like Joe Biden at the top of their ticket, I’d bet the ranch Donald Trump would lose. But again, I don’t think he’d even run if he thought he didn’t have a good chance of winning. Why go out a loser when he could tell himself and his fans that he’s the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln, if not greater?
So if you want Donald Trump to run and win a second term, put your money where you mouth is. Contribute to the campaign. The Howard Schultz campaign