Former U.S. ambassador and Las Cruces resident hosts national podcast

Former U.S. ambassador and Las Cruces resident hosts national podcast

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Podcast host Delano Lewis, lower right, with his producer Jason Begin. (Bulletin photo by Mike Cook)

By Mike Cook

Las Cruces Bulletin

LAS CRUCES – With a new podcast called “The Left, Right, Forward Show,” retired Ambassador Delano Lewis is making use of the extensive national and international contacts he made during a 35-year career in Washington, D.C.

Lewis, 81, retired to Las Cruces with his wife, Gayle, more than 20 years ago after serving as U.S. ambassador to South Africa, CEO of National Public Radio, a major telephone company executive during the breakup of the Bell system and director of East and South Africa for the Peace Corps. He also led the effort to establish home rule in Washington, D.C., where he was a major player in city politics and often touted as a candidate for mayor.

Working with sound engineer Jason Begin out of Begin’s Las Cruces home studio, Lewis launched the podcast in March and has interviewed former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Virginia Gov. and Democratic National Chair Terry McAuliffe, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., Black Entertainment Television co-founder Robert Johnson, Washington Post publisher Don Graham, actor-director (and Lewis’ son) Phill Lewis, HD Supply CEO and President Joseph Deangelo and Dr. Helene Gayle, who spent 20 years with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Lewis hopes future podcast guests include his longtime friends Bill and Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other political and business leaders. To date, he’s interviewed the guests via telephone, but he expects to host in-studio guests from Las Cruces and the region.

Lewis said the podcast includes both liberal and conservative viewpoints and focuses on “business and political solutions that will help us move forward.” Topics going forward will include immigration, civil rights, law-and-order, criminal justice, health care, education, foreign policy and the 2020 elections.

Lewis said there will be new episodes of the podcast every Monday, with all episodes available on LeftRightForwardpodcast.com.

Lewis interviewed Deangelo May 6 by phone. Deangelo took over a company that “was valued at zero,” Lewis said. A division spinoff from Home Depot, HD Supply today has 500,000 customers and provides maintenance, repair, operations, construction and materials to homebuilders, large apartment complexes and government contractors.

Lewis said he met Helene Gayle when he served as U.S. ambassador to South Africa (1999-2001). She is an expert on HIV, he said, and served as director of CARE International for 10 years. Lewis and Gayle served together on the board of Colgate-Palmolive.

Episodes are 20 to 40 minutes in length.

“It’s great,” Begin said of the program. Lewis, he said, has great timing as host and does his homework for each interview. “You can hear his brain cranking as each guest is answering questions,” Begin said.

“Gramps, it’s awesome,” is what Lewis said his grandson, Clinton, 31, said about the podcast.

Access the podcasts at flyonthewallpodcast.com.

Mike Cook may be contacted at mike@lascrucesbulletin.com.

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