Every Thursday, the Spy hosts a conversation with Al From and Craig Fuller on the most topical political news of the moment.
This week, From and Fuller discuss the catastrophic fall of Kabul to the Taliban and President Joe Biden’s competence as the country’s Commander-in-chief.
This video is approximately eighteen minutes in length. To listen to the podcast version, please use this link:
Al and Craig continue discussing the Afaanganatsn crisis in our F/F Outtake segment available below:
While the Spy’s public affairs mission has always been hyper-local, it has never limited us from covering national, or even international issues, that impact the communities we serve. With that in mind, we were delighted that Al From and Craig Fuller, both highly respected Washington insiders, have agreed to a new Spy video project called “The Analysis of From and Fuller” over the next year.
The Spy and our region are very lucky to have such an accomplished duo volunteer for this experiment. While one is a devoted Democrat and the other a lifetime Republican, both had long careers that sought out the middle ground of the American political spectrum.
Al From, the genius behind the Democratic Leadership Council’s moderate agenda which would eventually lead to the election of Bill Clinton, has never compromised from this middle-of-the-road philosophy. This did not go unnoticed in a party that was moving quickly to the left in the 1980s. Including progressive Howard Dean saying that From’s DLC was the Republican wing of the Democratic Party.
From’s boss, Bill Clinton, had a different perspective. He said it would be hard to think of a single American citizen who, as a private citizen, has had a more positive impact on the progress of American life in the last 25 years than Al From.”
Al now lives in Annapolis and spends his semi-retirement as a board member of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University (his alma mater) and authoring New Democrats and the Return to Power. He also is an adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins’ Krieger School and recently agreed to serve on the Annapolis Spy’s Board of Visitors.
For Craig Fuller, his moderation in the Republican party was a rare phenomenon. With deep roots in California’s GOP culture of centralism, Fuller, starting with a long history with Ronald Reagan, leading to his appointment as Reagan’s cabinet secretary at the White House, and later as George Bush’s chief-of-staff and presidential campaign manager was known for his instincts to find the middle ground. Even more noted was his reputation of being a nice guy in Washington, a rare characteristic for a successful tenure in the White House.
Craig has called Easton his permanent home for the last five years, where now serves on the boards of the Academy Art Museum, the Benedictine School, and Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. He also serves on the Spy’s Board of Visitors.
With their rich experience and long history of friendship, now joined by their love of the Chesapeake Bay, they have agreed through the magic of Zoom, to talk inside politics and policy with the Spy every Thursday.
Letters to Editor
Stephen Schaare says
Dear Gentleman, I enjoyed the interview very much, as always.
Mr. From, you surprised me with your cynical comments on Biden. Mr. Fuller, you were way too soft on our President.
I like to look at “the big picture”. In these first seven months we have seen two major disasters. The humanitarian debacle of our southern border, and now the tragic departure from Afghanistan.
In my view, you both spent way too much time on the last twenty years, and ending our presence in this primitive hellhole.
As you both know, that is not the issue at hand. The issue is the complete lack of foresight and lack of a plan for withdrawal. You remove the people first, not the troops.
With regard to competency, we have inflation, insane federal spending, the urban bloodletting of black on black crime( for which Biden blames guns and gun dealers, never mentioning personal behavior) the ongoing obsession with “equity”, so on and so forth.
Joe Biden, in his prime, was of ordinary intellect. In his clearly diminished state(certainly you have seen him speak) he is an embarrassment. Nothing good lies ahead.
When I heard him defending his actions, that was pretty much the last act, in my opinion.
Some very, very bad things will be happening in the next few weeks. We will probably learn or see very little.
The only chance of redemption for Joe Biden, would be if he immediately dispatches 15-20 thousand troops to Kabul to extract Americans and the helpful Afghanis. Sadly, I do not see this happening. Biden lacks both the vision and courage to make this call. Worse yet, I simply don’t believe he is much interested. Thank you.
Totch Hartge says
Thank you both very much. Excellent early take. After all the noise is over, I hope the country will honestly reflect on the deep responsibility of the military-industrial complex. They just love war and it’s profits. Always have, just like Vietnam. Professional brainwashing from our public servants generates the lies that keep the public riled up and confused. The hell with realities and the truth. The waste of blood and treasure means very little to these folks, elected or not.
If we learn nothing, it will certainly happen again
My deepest gratitude to the all soldiers who gave all, and the ones who brought it all home to live out the rest of their lives with. Same to my fellow Vietnam veterans.
marian murphy says
I wanted to reply but after reading Mr. Schaare’s letter which was so angry I didn’t even know where to begin so didn’t even try to reply on my own. I waited awhile and then read Mr. Hartz’s letter and felt there was some room for my comments. Both concerned and angry about Afghanistan but the topic was Afghanistan and not Biden. We all recognize the polarization in our country and if we have more people like Totch Hartge we have a chance to dialogue about the topic and not our biases.
Stephen Schaare says
Hi Marian, The topic was the competency of Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.. watch it again. I am not angry. I am ashamed of Jill Biden for ever letting her husband seek this office.
I can easily view the world through rose colored glasses, speak of gum drops and rainbows. My heart breaks to witness the decline of this once great nation.
Are you happy with this President?
From and Fuller made the discussion, less so for Mr. From about Afghanistan, the issue was about whether Joe Biden was fit for office. Thank you.