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Howard Schultz is already starting in with the bad coffee references

Howard Schultz is already starting in with the bad coffee references
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz [Photo: Flickr user U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)]

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is promoting a new book, seemingly reading the Tazo tea leaves, and testing the Ethos-branded waters for a presidential run (something people are less likely to ask for than that tree-tasting juniper latte).

Because U.S. media is always thirsty for political drama, CBS This Morning invited the would-be candidate to chat on Tuesday. Host Norah O’Donnell waded into the political fray by asking the businessman about comments he made on 60 Minutes where he seemed to compare the call for universal healthcare to a border wall.

As Mediate reports, in the interview, Schultz recounted seeing a clip of presidential contender Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) supporting Medicare for All by saying “she wants to abolish the insurance industry.” That was an extra shot that Schultz could not stomach. “That’s not correct. That’s not American,” Schultz claimed, adding, “What’s next? What industry are we going to abolish next? The coffee industry?”

Yes, Mr. Schultz, people who don’t want to have to worry about going into medical debt are definitely coming for the coffee industry next. Of course, the comparison ignores the fact that paying $5 for a latte is a choice; arguing with your insurance company (if you’re lucky enough to have one) over lab fees, emergency room charges, and prescription coverage is not.

Schultz says he is considering running as an independent because he thinks the Democrats have “shifted so far to the left,” but if he can’t tell the difference between the for-profit health insurance industry and the coffee business, it’s going to be a long slog. If Schultz does run, not only can he expect a Venti-sized backlash (Elizabeth Warren already blasted him for calling her tax plan ridiculous), but election watchers should brace themselves for an endless run of don’t-split-the-vote op-eds, calls for Starbucks boycotts, and an endless stream of coffee metaphors.

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