Back surgery sidelines Howard Schultz’s exploratory campaign

By Pia Deshpande
Schultz said he underwent three surgeries after experiencing acute pain in Arizona.

Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO weighing an independent run for president, said on Wednesday he was taking a monthslong break from meeting people across the country while he recovers from a series of back surgeries.

In an email to supporters, Schultz said that after experiencing acute pain in Arizona while visiting during his exploratory campaign, he underwent three separate back surgeries in the state over the following two months. The potential candidate wrote that his “doctors foresee a full recovery” if he takes time to rehabilitate, adding that he will spend the summer doing so.

Schultz’s January announcement of possibly running as an independent was met with skepticism from Democrats, who feared that he could siphon votes from their eventual nominee. After an awkward rollout, however, some Democratic leaders scoffed at the possible candidacy. The associate chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Jaime Harrison, said that voters would not waste their voices on a candidate like Schultz.

Schultz said in early February that he would take “three to four months” to decide on a run to avoid “aiding President Trump.”

Despite the lack of national interest in a Schultz candidacy so far, polls continue to show that most Americans want to see a third-party or independent candidate in the race.