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Grounded

Howard Schultz says he's not running for president, cites indifference of 'exhausted majority'

With 20 or so Democrats still running for president and a small but hardy band of Republicans challenging President Trump for the GOP nomination, you might have forgotten that former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was also likely running to be America's chief executive. Well, now he's not. On Friday, Schultz told supporters in a letter that he is formally dropping out of the race, explaining that it was harder than he had expected to catch fire among moderate voters and he doesn't want to risk helping re-elect Trump.

Schultz, 66, announced his intention to run for president as an independent in January, appeared on TV quite a bit, then dropped out of view, explaining later that he had undergone three back surgeries. In Friday's three-page letter, Schultz insisted that American has a "exhausted majority who want common sense, collaborative, and truthful government," but said they have "largely tuned out of political life," and so "extreme voices currently dominate the national dialogue, often with a vitriol that crowds out and discourages thoughtful discussions."

Schultz also appeared to suggest that he did not want to risk siphoning votes from former Vice President Joe Biden or another Democrat whose views overlap with his own. "If I went forward, there is a risk that my name would appear on ballots even if a moderate Democrat wins the nomination, and that is not a risk I am willing to take," he wrote. Democratic leaders, The Washington Post notes, will be relieved at Schultz's decision.