There have been more than a few lucky moments in the Spy’s nine years of existence but none more so than the serendipitous formation of a unique team of volunteer public affairs columnists who now grace its pages every week. These highly respected leaders in their lifetime careers, gifted with intellect, imagination, and passion, spanning from the political left to right, has been one of the most significant assets of our hyper-local and education-based news portals.
The commentaries of Howard Freedlander, Craig Fuller, George Merrill, David Montgomery, and Al Sikes have considerably enhanced our community’s civil debates on the most pressing issues of our times. And while the written word is their chosen medium, the Spy, a great believer in multimedia with now over 2,000 video productions, has been grateful that they have agreed to be interviewed as our country enters into one of its most important elections in recent memory.
We continue our series with Craig Fuller who started his remarkable career in politics as a real “Reagan man” while a student at UCLA during the future president’s two terms as governor of California. Connected to Reagan through a issue related to state-funded internship programs, Fuller had all the traits that Ronald Reagan sought out with his top aides; a gentle form of conservative thinking, a congenial approach in building relations, and, of course, a genuine sense of humor.
Fuller was tapped early on in Reagan’s successful campaign for the presidency in 1980 and joined the Reagan-Bush Administration in 1981, first as Assistant to President Reagan for Cabinet Affairs and then becoming Chief of Staff to Vice President George H.W. Bush during the second term of the Administration. He co-chaired the President Bush Transition and then entered the private sector in Washington leading public affairs consulting firms, associations and serving as an officer of a major consumer packaged goods company.
After years enjoying Bethany Beach as a retreat from Washington’s hectic pace, he and his wife, Karen, eventually decided to move to Talbot County a few years ago as their permanent retirement home to play a more active role in the community, be closer to old friends, and enjoy easy access to the Chesapeake Bay for their beloved “Ranger Tug” boat.’
Since that move took place, Craig has made good on his commitment to dive in and help on the Mid-Shore. From joining the Board at the Academy Art Museum, growing a beard for the “Cover Your Chin for Charity:” in Talbot County, or even helping Chestertown find a new restaurant, the native Californian has fully embraced his new Eastern Shore commitments.
This new life also includes the world of politics. As someone who still considers himself a Republican, and as recently as 2016 was supporting Jeb Bush for president, Fuller has grown disillusioned with Trumpism. The current administration’s confrontational approach to policy, its inability to compromise, the use of fear and Tweeter-based intimidation, and lack of moral standards, stands in such great contrast to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, that Fuller is now fully committed himself to Jesse Colvin’s efforts to replace Congressman Andy Harris in the November midterm election.
The Spy sat down with Craig at the Bullitt House a few weeks ago to talk to him about the America’s state of affairs, his frustration with his own party, and his hope that the country can once again return to Reagan’s famed “shining city upon a hill.”
This video is approximately seven minutes in length.