In case you haven’t noticed, we are a year away from the next battle over who will occupy the White House. At this point in time, there are about nine Democrats who have decided that they are worthy of being elected president. By the end of this year, it is anticipated that there will be at least 15 potential candidates vying, for the hearts and minds of the voting public.
It’s too early to speculate on which man or woman the Democratic Party will pick for their nominee and generally my political choices, according to my wife, always wind up losing. But I have decided that I don’t want any more billionaires sitting in the Oval office. Apparently, the latest opinion polls agree with me. More than 50 percent of the voting public wants someone other than Donald J. Trump. So is there any other billionaire worthy of being our president?
To date the only announced billionaire is Howard Schultz, the creator of the Starbucks miracle. Schultz is estimated to be worth at least $3 billion, which means he can finance his own campaign. But is Schultz ready to run America? To his credit he has created a mega business with over 3,000 locations throughout the world. People of every income level have become addicted to five-dollar lattes. Does being the king of coffee qualify him to decide whether we go to war with Iran?
Mr. Schultz made his formal announcement a short time ago and it wasn’t greeted with standing ovations. He declared himself to be the only true independent candidate. Democrats fretted that he would split their vote and reelect Mr. Trump.
Republicans cheered at the idea that an independent would help their candidate squeak into the White House. The rest of the potential voters ignored Mr. Schultz’s self-coronation.
Following his announcement, Mr. Schultz gave dozens of media interviews but in almost all cases, he had no opinions on taxes, voting rights and the influence of Wall Street on the nation. He basically said that we should just trust him. Somehow, I have seen this movie before. Another billionaire, Ross Perot, ran in 1992 on the same platform, pledging he would translate his business success into a better America. Perot didn’t get very far on that argument.
I don’t want to label all billionaires as being unqualified. Michael Bloomberg was a great mayor and is a brilliant businessman. I would love to see him as president but think the odds of him winning are pretty slim. Bill Gates would be a great leader and there are many others who fit that mold but couldn’t be elected.
So for now, let’s hope that the Democrats nominate someone who is a visionary and has the talent to lead our country, free of tweets. Based on the past two years, I have lost my appetite for billionaires.
Former State Assemblyman Jerry Kremer is a columnist for Anton Media Group and partner at Ruskin Moscou Faltischek in Uniondale. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher or Anton Media Group.