Fast Company

PRESIDENT OPRAH?

Howard Schultz, Bob Iger, and other biz leaders may be mulling runs. Here’s why that matters.

On a recent afternoon in Washington, D.C., at a Starbucks just a few blocks from the White House, a pair of baristas are explaining why their boss Howard Schultz should run for president. Schultz, the executive chairman of the world’s largest coffee-shop chain, had reportedly considered bids for the Oval Office in previous elections, but since he announced in December that he would be stepping down as CEO, speculation has built about his plans for 2020. Employees at this particular store seem eager for “Howard,” as they call him, to get in the race. “He’s a great guy and a great CEO,” says one of the workers, pointing to Starbucks’s unusually generous benefits and Schultz’s progressive activism on a range of current issues, which include advocating for LGBTQ rights and providing job opportunities to both military veterans and refugees. “I would consider voting for him.”

For many Washington pundits and insiders, the idea of a Schultz candidacy is hard to resist. The billionaire Brooklyn native seems to have the means, the private-sector bona fides, the platform and reach,

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