Politics
Protesters outside Seattle's Moore Theater try to encourage Howard Schultz to reconsider a run for the presidency. 
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Protesters outside Seattle's Moore Theater try to encourage Howard Schultz to reconsider a run for the presidency.
Credit: KUOW photo/Casey Martin

Howard Schultz says it's "un-American" to slam a third-party run for president

What to make of Howard Schultz’s appearance at the Moore Theater Thursday night?

Even though the appearance was ostensibly part of the tour pushing his new book, it more closely resembled a campaign event for his not-yet-launched presidential run.

Schultz spent most of the evening defending that run from critics who accuse him of trying to avoid a competition of ideas, bypassing party politics or even of trying to buy the presidency.

The former Starbucks CEO opened with a defense of his wealth and asked why people question and criticize success. He characterized himself as self-made and insisted that he didn't inherit any money from his family.

Schultz says he would run as a centrist independent, and Thursday night he pitched that third-party effort.

"Is anyone in the crowd actually satisfied with the current political system?" he asked.

In response to critics who say a third-party win is too unlikely, he said: "It's un-American to say it can't be done."

Friday politics

Joni Balter, host of Civic Cocktail on the Seattle Channel, and C.R. Douglas, political analyst for Q13, talk to KUOW's Angela King about Howard Schultz's possible run for president.


Schultz also touched on more local matters and apologized for selling the Sonics. The crowd applauded.

While the crowd inside the Moore was polite and even enthusiastic, outside the theater reflected a different story.

There were union members, Sonics fans and Democrats worried that a Schultz campaign could mean four more years of Trump.

There were also some supporters there, like Taylor Brew of Bothell, who said she's a longtime fan of Schultz.

“He does have the American dream story," she said. "He grew up in Brooklyn, and now he’s a billionaire in Seattle. That’s amazing, that’s something that everyone wants. So why would you not want that?”