Could Howard Schultz Be The Next Ross Perot?

“A Howard Schultz-type independent may actually be more of a spoiler than giving Americans a real choice.”

By Michael MarksJanuary 31, 2019 11:34 am

This week, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that he is considering running for president as an independent candidate. Schultz’ announcement echoed that the campaign of another billionaire third-party presidential candidate – East Texan Ross Perot, who ran one of the most successful third-party campaigns in presidential history, claiming almost 20 percent of the vote in 1992.

ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, who was chief strategist for George W. Bush’s 2004 presidential campaign and is also the author of the book “A New Way: Embracing the Paradox as We Lead and Serve,” says he generally likes the idea of having variety when it comes to presidential candidates, but that it also depends on the time and the candidate.

“We’re in a unique moment where I think an independent at this point in time, and especially a Howard Schultz-type independent, may actually be more of a spoiler than giving Americans a real choice,” Dowd says. “But a lot of this depends on what happens in the next 18 months.”

Dowd says the problem with Schultz is that he has no political experience. He says right now, many Americans are looking for more of a political leader than a wealthy businessman.

“I don’t know if that’s where the American public wants to go,” Dowd says.

Like Perot, Schultz does appeal to those who like a so-called common-sense approach to politics. But Dowd says there are big differences between Perot and Schultz. First of all, Perot entered the presidential race late, which was an advantage.

“He entered into the race at at time when both candidates [George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton] were highly disliked,” Dowd says.

Second, Perot had a very simple platform, Dowd says.

“He did talk about common sense, he did talk about Washington [being] broken,” Dowd says. “But his fundamental platform is these trade deals that have been done are not helping the average American, and the deficit and the debt is out of control.”

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Written by Caroline Covington.