Jeremi Suri: The Case for Howard SchultzRoundup
tags: politics, presidential history, 2020 Election, Howard Schultz
Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a professor of history and public affairs. He is the author and editor of nine books, most recently "The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America's Highest Office." The views expressed here are his. View more opinion on CNN.
In the fall of 2016 Hillary Clinton called on Americans to unite behind her and defeat Donald Trump. It did not work. Similarly, in 1972 George McGovern asked Americans to come together and defeat Richard Nixon. That did not work either.
Democrats have a terrible record of winning the presidency when they define their mission as defeating a hated adversary and expect voters to fall in line.
The tidal wave of criticism that followed Howard Schultz's recent flirtation with an independent run for the presidency repeats this terrible mistake. Many Democrats fear he will split the strong anti-Trump vote that was evident in the 2018 midterm elections, allowing Trump to get elected again as a minority president in 2020.
The conventional wisdom among many historians is that this is the effect of third-party candidates: They can divide the more popular party and empower the candidate from the less popular side. The elections in 1912 (Woodrow Wilson), 1968 (Richard Nixon), 1992 (Bill Clinton), 2000 (George W. Bush), and 2016 (Donald Trump) illustrate this dynamic. In each case, a third-party candidate took enough votes from one presidential aspirant to elect the other.
comments powered by Disqus
- 75 Years After World War II Theft, a Painting Returns to Italy
- U.S. Ship Sunk in World War II by German Sub Is Found Off Maine Coast
- The Woman Who Discovered the Cause of Global Warming Was Long Overlooked. Her Story Is a Reminder to Champion All Women Leading on Climate
- Iran Confrontation With U.K. Reflects History of Bad Blood
- The deadly race riot ‘aided and abetted’ by The Washington Post a century ago
- Tom Engelhardt Writes Personal and Historical Essay: Turning 75 in the Age of Trump
- Historian Drew Gilpin Faust Pens Personal and Historical Essay: "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood"
- WBUR Is Belatedly Giving Credit to a Female Historian for a Segment
- Behind the men on the moon, there were thousands of women
- Professor Rebecca Gordon Pens Essay Revealing Her Abortion and Examines Ongoing History of Roe v. Wade