Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO who is exploring a centrist independent campaign for President, may be mounting a serious run, rather than just offering himself as another symbolic or protest candidate. His appointments to top campaign posts are those that would be made by someone intent on getting to the Oval Office.
The New Hires:
Schultz has chosen Brendon DelToro, Matt LoParco, and Greg Strimple for key posts in the nascent campaign. Each is a veteran political operative, and each comes from the Republican side.
These hires indicate that Schultz may be targeting Republicans who are dissatisfied with Donald Trump. And that he is finding them.
Strimple in particular is the founder of GS Strategy Group, which has done consulting work as well as polling for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Strimple has also contracted/consulted with a super PAC affiliated with Paul Ryan, former Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Thing to Know:
The premise of Schultz’ campaign is that there is great potential for a Third Force in US politics, a party at work in-between the typical Republican and Democratic positions. This vision of a centrist third party also animated such recent candidacies as that of John Anderson in 1980 and Ross Perot in 1992. Neither of those candidates ended in the White House, but each had an important impact on the dynamics of the campaign.