Howard Schultz says he won’t run for president because people were mean online

Several months ago, Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO, said he was exploring the possibility of running for president in 2020 as an independent. It immediately drew scorn from all corners of the internet.

On Friday, Schultz announced that he decided against running in a blog post on his website written as a letter to “friends.” In it, he explains his reasons for dropping out, including that “extreme voices currently dominate the national dialogue, often with a vitriol that crowds out and discourages thoughtful discussions,” perhaps a nod to the consistent mockery of his 2020 consideration.

“First, despite a variety of efforts to initiate conversations about political reform, extreme voices currently dominate the national dialogue, often with a vitriol that crowds out and discourages thoughtful discussions,” Schultz wrote. “And despite their hunger for reform, the exhausted majority has largely tuned out of political life online and in the news, leaving the extreme voices to define the debate.”

The former Starbucks CEO also acknowledged that an independent candidate could split votes in the 2020 election, a fear that was put on display in early January when he was heckled during a book tour appearance in New York City. When he was discussing a possible 2020 run, someone shouted “don’t help elect Trump you egotistical billionaire asshole!” before being led out of the event.

Schultz’s exploration of running in 2020 was marked by a number of gaffes and a steady stream of internet mockery.

Much like the rest of his time exploring a presidential run, Schultz’s announcement on Friday also was mocked.

Now, we are down to just one other billionaire hoping to challenge Trump.

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Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).