Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz won’t be running for president in 2016.
In a Thursday New York Times op-ed piece titled “America Deserves a Servant Leader,” the coffee impresario said he’s got too much work still to be done at his current job to seek the White House.
“Despite the encouragement of others, I have no intention of entering the presidential fray,” he wrote. “I’m not done serving at Starbucks.”
Earlier this week, reports circulated that the self-made billionaire who grew up in public projects in Brooklyn was considering a challenge to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
In his Times op-ed, Schultz said the next president needs to be humble and able to work across party lines in order to end the Washington political gridlock.
“Our country is in desperate need of servant leaders, of men and women willing to kneel and embrace those who are not like them,” Schultz wrote, adding, “regardless of who wins the presidency, the odds of the same party controlling a filibuster-proof Senate are slim. If we want to turn the nation around, we have to act differently. Save for the most rabid partisans, most people don’t want one-party rule.”
He argued that many Americans have lost their confidence in the political process.
“Millennials have never witnessed politics devoid of toxicity. Anxiety, not optimism, rules the day,” Schultz wrote. “While Americans have diverse views in what they want from Washington, I reject the notion that our divided and dysfunctional government is merely a reflection of what the political class calls the red-blue divide.”
Schultz ended his piece with an anecdote from a trip to Jerusalem’s Western Wall, the most sacred site in Judaism.
“The speculation about my candidacy reminds me of a lesson from a great Jewish leader. A decade ago, I visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem with Nosson Tzvi Finkel, a widely respected rabbi in Israel. As we approached one of the holiest sites in Judaism, the rabbi halted about 10 yards away as a crowd of admirers gathered nearby. I beckoned him further.
“‘I’ve never been closer than this,’ the rabbi told me. Astounded, I asked why.
“‘You go,’ he said. ‘I’m not worthy.’”