Howard Schultz is facing the public in Seattle — just a few days after announcing that he is considering a run for president.
Former Starbucks CEO Schultz, 65, will be at The Moore Theatre on Thursday Jan. 31 as part of his tour for his memoir “From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America.”
The event is expected to draw a crowd beyond those just interested in books, after Schultz announced in a Tweet on Jan. 27, one day before the book tour started, that he is considering running for presidency in 2020 as a centrist independent.
I love our country, and I am seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent.
— Howard Schultz (@HowardSchultz) January 28, 2019
Whether the book tour is intended to promote his book or his candidacy, the Forbes-named 232nd richest person in the world — reportedly worth $3.4 billion — wants to spend time with his fellow Americans.
His controversial tweet immediately drew criticism from internet users. People nationwide either supported his decision or condemned it for fear that it would lead to President Donald Trump’s re-election.
If you run as an independent, you’ll split the anti-#Trump vote and give us four more years of misery. Put your country above your ego. Either run for the Democratic nomination and respect the choice of the people or just don’t run at all!! Our future is at stake!
— Tennesseine (@Tennesseine) January 28, 2019
Other Seattleites expressed reservations about Schultz.
The saga of Howard Schultz's ownership of the Sonics and his betrayal of Seattle isn't just a sports story. It's really a story about how the wealthy defend their privilege. https://t.co/nt8Vtu3lNZ
— David Neiwert (@DavidNeiwert) January 31, 2019
Before he announced his consideration for the 2020 election, Schultz was frequently mentioned as a potential candidate for the Democratic Party as he became more vocal about political matters. In one instance he labeled President Donald Trump as “a president that is creating episodic chaos every day.”
Schultz endorsed Hillary Clinton for president during the 2016 election.
In an op-ed in The Seattle Times this week, Schultz says his main motives would be to “remove Donald Trump from office and to fix our broken two-party system.”
“It’s true that Seattle and I have had a complicated relationship,” Schultz wrote, possibly referring to his “disastrous” ownership of the Seattle SuperSonics basketball team that angered Seattle sports fans in the late 2000s, when the team was sold to Clay Bennett and left for Oklahoma City.
Schultz became known for successfully transforming Starbucks from a small coffee roaster in Seattle in the ‘70s and ’80s into the class-status symbol beverage we know today, having more than 24,000 stores across more than 75 countries. He has also made headlines for introducing full health care coverage for part- and full-time employees while being CEO and chairman.
He stepped down as Starbucks executive chairman in June 2018.
Schultz’s book “From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America” isn’t out yet and will be released on Feb. 12. It is described as “part candid memoir, part uplifting blueprint of mutual responsibility, and part proof that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.”
According to the publisher Random House Group, the book features stories from Schultz’s childhood as a young boy of two high-school dropouts living in the Brooklyn housing projects and as an adult who “[built] the kind of company that his father, a working-class laborer, never had a chance to work for.”
The event will be moderated by award-winning journalist Monica Guzman, who is also co-founder of the local daily newsletter “The Evergrey.”
Admission is free with registration and is on a first-come and first-serve basis at The Moore Theatre. It’s sold out, but people can get on the wait list. The event lasts from 7:30 – 10 p.m. and doors will open at 6:30 p.m.