Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has suspended his 2020 presidential campaign due to a sore back, according to The Huffington Post.
Schultz surprised his staff members earlier this week when he arrived unannounced at his campaign headquarters after months of not showing up. According to a source who was present at the meeting, Schultz then told his staff members of his plans to make summer cuts and his decision to let go of everyone except those in senior leadership positions. It appears very likely that Schultz will suspend his presidential campaign for good, but he has promised to delay the final decision until after Labor Day.
Shortly after this private meeting, the main reason behind him suspending his campaign became clear, as Schultz told his supporters in an e-mail that his back was very sore after three successive surgeries.
“While I was in Arizona, I unfortunately experienced acute back pain that required me to cut my travels short. Over the following two months, I underwent three separate back surgeries. Today, I am feeling much better, and my doctors foresee a full recovery so long as I rest and rehabilitate. I have decided to take the summer to do just that,” he wrote.
— The Hill (@thehill) June 12, 2019
Earlier this year, Schultz had announced that he was exploring running as an independent centrist candidate because of the lack of good options in the Democratic field. He traveled across the country promoting his memoir and meeting supporters. But he received a lot of criticism from the left side of the political aisle as liberals blamed him for giving Donald Trump another shot at the presidency. Democrats feared that Schultz’s foray into the field would cut into their votes, eventually helping Trump in his re-election bid.
Schultz told his staff members that he was closely watching the presidential campaign of former vice president Joe Biden, whose moderate and centrist views align with his own. The former Starbucks CEO maintained that if Biden didn’t win the Democratic primary, there was every chance that he would re-enter the field after Super Tuesday.
Although Schultz was never actually considered a serious presidential candidate, his short-lived exploration of a 2020 campaign once again showed that celebrity figures from other spheres of public life are getting more attuned to the idea of running for the presidency. His withdrawal, however, was met with cheers on social media, as voters celebrated the fact that he would not be able to “siphon off” votes which might have eventually worked to Trump’s favor.