Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz hasn’t officially announced he’s running for president, but he’s already learning a sad truth about politics.
When you have to ask people to clap at your scripted applause lines, expect some blowback.
Schultz was speaking at Purdue University in Indiana on Thursday when he announced that he would release his tax returns if he decided to run for the nation’s highest office.
Clearly, his pledge was meant to draw a sharp contrast with the current White House occupant, Donald Trump. Still, the crowd reaction wasn’t what he probably expected. The clip below shows he had to let the audience know it was OK to clap.
Sadly for Schultz, history repeated itself a few moments later when he was discussing successful efforts by Purdue officials to keep in check the costs of an education at the school.
“You gotta clap for that,” he said.
The whole sad affair reminded many people of a moment in the 2016 presidential campaign when then-candidate Jeb Bush had to ask a crowd to “please clap.”
Bush, of course, went from being perceived as a leading contender for the Republican nomination in the ’16 campaign, only to be quickly dispatched by Trump.
Continuing with the Bush comparison, some wondered why Schultz seemed so low energy in his speech, especially considering the business in which he made his fortune.
Others theorized that the Schultz campaign ― which isn’t even official ― already has met the fate of Bush’s:
Some offered spending suggestions for Schultz:
Some Twitter users did indeed clap for Schultz, but probably not in the way he ― or anyone ― would want:
This is the second time this week that Schultz has attracted the type of attention that doesn’t augur well for a presidential bid.
On Monday night at a book event hosted by CNBC host and New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin, he expressed a preference for the terms “people of wealth” and “people of means” over the term “billionaire.”