Former Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz may be parsing his words, but several Washingtonians are not.
Schultz said he "seriously considering" a run for President, which sounds like a trial balloon of sorts. Democrats are worried about Schultz siphoning votes, and, well some Washingtonians just don't forget.
Schultz has no political experience, except for his 2006 attempt to pitch the state legislature on funding a new sports arena. Once rebuffed, the Starbucks tycoon sold the franchise to an Oklahoma City group, and they moved two years later. Schultz never apologized, although he used five pages of his new book to try and make amends.
"I just don't think, in this environment, it's going to work," said Chris Petzold, who leads the Indivisible Washington Eighth District group, a left-leaning collection of political activists who plan on rallying outside Schultz's planned book appearance on Thursday in Seattle. "We are going to be handed another four years of chaos and corruption with Donald Trump."
Petzold believes, if history is any guide, the lifelong Democrat Schultz will pull votes away from a Democratic nominee. She also questions if Schultz, by running as an independent, would be trying to avoid the Caucus and Primary system.
"We deserve as constituents, as Americans, to compete with each other," said Petzold.
"That's garbage. Americans have a right to participate in the political process without joining the two insane political parties," says Chris Vance, the former Washington Republican Party Chair, who has disavowed his former party and is trying to start an independent movement in Washington State.
"Having Howard Schultz coming forward and say on TV what a lot of us have been saying - that both political parties are broken and we need a centrist political alternative is very exciting," said Vance, who is not endorsing Schultz.
Vance believes it's not fair to talk about a third party candidate helping to re-elect Trump.
"I'm sick of that,” he said. “I'm sick of that question - you know why because Americans have a right to run for office. People think these two street gangs - the republicans and democrats - are allowed to run. That's crazy. If we're ever going to have a third party movement, or anything else, we have to stop this idea that everyone is a spoiler."
"The one this I'll predict right now is 2020 is not going to be just Trump versus the Democrats - something new is coming," said Vance, who believes the US is behind the times when compared to other countries political systems. "We're seeing the beginning of the end of the two-party system."
Schultz did not seem concerned with the initial blowback to his announcement.
"I'm putting myself in a position that I know is going to create hate, anger, disenfranchisement from friends, from Democrats," Schultz told Axios, "I'm not considering this to win the Twitter primary,” he added.