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 U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson and how this deliberative process has become political theatre for potential presidential candidates for 2024. Al and Craig also discuss who won and who lost in the battle for the best sound bites from Senators eager to build a base of support for a run for the White House.
This video podcast is approximately 12 minutes in length.
To listen to the audio podcast version, please use this link:
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. He is the author of “New Democrats and the Return to Power.”
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
Gentlemen, You found the Republican Senators harsh and excessive in their questioning of the nominee? Does anyone remember the shameful crucifixion of nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the hands of the Dems not so very long ago?
This treatment of Judge Brown is a stroll in the park compared to the visceral bloodletting of now Justice Kavanaugh. Lindsay Graham ended that farce with a brilliant scolding of the Democrat inquisitors.
How soon we forget.
Craig Fuller says
Fair comment. But, the “you attacked our nominee so we’ll attack yours” scenario is really so counterproductive. It has, of course been going on for some time.
DEIRDRE LAMOTTE says
Republican Senators Cruz,Graham,Hawley and Blackburn have acted so far outside the norms of civilized discourse.
They are only there to generate content for Fox news and talk radio but it was glorious for all of America to see racism, vitriol and sexism live and in color. Judge Jackson remained poised, showing the demeaner of a Supreme Court Justice. They acted like the asses they are.
These Republicans are incapable of distinguishing between accusing someone of serious wrongs in a calm, polite way, and treating someone horribly while accusing them of virtually nothing. And the sad thing is, they have no incentives to act
like sane people because the right wing thinks of this as righteous, no matter how utterly shameful the behavior is.
Near the end with Cory Booker and Judge Jackson brought tears to my eyes. What grace.
It was not long ago that B. Kavanaugh came back from lunch with Graham, screaming like petulant little boys, because a
serious sexual assault allegation was made. And then B Kavanaugh spoke of his love of beer and snidely asked
Amy Klobuchar if she drank beer… then came the yelling on his part… then the crying. What a nonentity he is and
has proven himself a mediocre justice.
The Supreme Court is broken and has a lot of work to do if it wants to be thought of as “supreme”