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Starbucks coffee cups get political

Starbucks stirred the political pot by urging Washington baristas to write “come together” on its cups.

Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

Starbucks stirred the political pot by urging Washington baristas to write “come together” on its cups.

NEW YORK — Starbucks is using its coffee cups to jump into the political fray.

The world’s biggest coffee chain is asking employees at cafes in the Washington, D.C., area to scribble the words ‘‘come together’’ on cups on Thursday and Friday. Chief executive Howard Schultz said it’s a message to lawmakers about the damage being caused by the divisive negotiations over the ‘‘fiscal cliff.’’

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While companies generally steer clear of politics, the plea is a sentiment unlikely to cause controversy. If anything, Starbucks could score points with customers and burnish its image as a socially conscious company.

In the summer of 2011, Schultz also asked other CEOs and the public to stop making campaign contributions until politicians found a way to deal with a crisis over the debt ceiling that led to a downgrade in the country’s credit rating.

As for whether customers will be confused, Schultz said there’s wide public awareness about the negotiations, and Starbucks will use social media to explain the effort.

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