CEO of DoubleLine Capital Jeffrey Gundlach says the recently announced presidential run by former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will probably be short-lived.
Gundlach, who was ahead of the pack in anticipating a Trump presidential win in 2016, says the former coffee magnate lacks the physical constitution for a head to head battle against Trump. He told Yahoo Finance:
“I’m not sure he’s going to have the stomach for this. I still think it’s quite possible that Howard Schultz just disappears.”
Gundlach suggested a lack of political nous right out the gates on the part of Schultz, whose ‘nice, gentle’ announcement stood in stark contrast to the kind of bristling energy present at those of the incumbent.
“He did this nice, gentile book signing thing, right after he said he was thinking about running for office, I think it was 23 seconds into the official interview with some fellow at CNBC, where he started getting heckled.”
“EGOTISTICAL, BILLIONAIRE ASSHOLE!”
The heckler in question must have thought the same thing because in the middle of Schultz’ interview he very clearly and loudly yelled:
“Don’t help elect Trump! You egotistical, billionaire asshole!”
The book-signing interview was being broadcasted live on CNN at the time. Video below.
Here's the video. A heckler shouts at Howard Schultz during an event in New York: "Don't help elect Trump, you egotistical, billionaire asshole." Via CNN pic.twitter.com/oabwfNnsmp
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 29, 2019
Gundlach said Schultz had pulled away from the public view since the then, declaring that the presidential hopeful may be licking his wounds from such a public misstep:
“I don’t think he expected to be insulted, profanely insulted, by somebody, 23 seconds into his coming out party. He’s kind of disappeared into his shell a little bit since then.”
The billionaire former head of Starbucks was never likely to win sympathy with the average voter. Here on the European side of the Atlantic his chances would have been even worse.
STARBUCKS’ HISTORY OF GAMING THE SYSTEM
As early as 2012 this Reuters report detailed how in the fourteen years between 1998 and 2012, Starbucks sold $4.8 billion worth of coffee in the UK, but paid less than 1% corporation tax by miraculously posting zero profits year on year.
Starbucks plays the same game all throughout Europe, and recently drew the ire of Austrian politicians who declared that even streetside sausage vendors pay more tax than Starbucks:
“Every Viennese cafe, every sausage stand pays more tax in Austria than a multinational corporation.”
UK politicians weighed in on the issue at the same time, stating that Starbucks manipulation of tax loopholes was:
“...certainly profoundly against the interests of the countries where they operate and is extremely unfair ... they are trying to play the taxman, game him. It is disgraceful.”
SETTING UP TRUMP PUNCHLINES
Given the furore that arose over Donald Trump’s suspected tax evasion (which turned out to be unfounded), one can imagine Schultz’ history as the CEO of Starbucks would present a large and easy target for Trump’s campaign barbs.
Schultz left his role as CEO of Starbucks last year, in what now seems to have been the first step of his planned presidential run. At the time he said:
“I’ll be thinking about a range of options for myself, from philanthropy to public service, but I’m a long way from knowing what the future holds.”
If Gundlach is right again, then it’s unlikely that future involves sipping overpriced espresso in the White House.