Ripon Forum Looks at Why Ideas Matter And the Importance of Entrepreneurship in America

February/March Issue features essays by Governor Haley Barbour, humorist Ben Stein, and presidential advisor Mary Matalin, among others

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Ripon Forum kicks off its 41st year of publication with an issue that focuses on the importance of ideas in the public policy debate and the effort by Republicans to find new ideas that will help the party reclaim its majority and the White House next year.

Authors and articles featured in the February/March 2007 issue include:

  • Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour – writing about why ideas matter and why policy, not politics, is the key to the GOP’s future;
  • Babson College Professor Thomas Davenport – writing about the importance of ideas in the business world and how a company’s focus on ideas can affect the bottom line;
  • Congressman Adam Putnam – writing about the year ahead on Capitol Hill and what the Republican Party will be working to achieve;
  • University of Kansas’ Dole Institute Director William Lacy – asking a question that, he says, is on the mind of other Kansans and many Americans: “What’s the Matter with Washington?;” and,
  • Cabrini College Professor James Hedtke – discussing the recent history of lame duck presidencies and why the last two years of the Bush Administration could prove to be surprisingly productive.

The February/March issue of the Forum also looks at an idea likely to be critical to Republican success in the coming year – entrepreneurship.  Small Business Administration Director Steven Preston writes about President Bush’s efforts to help entrepreneurs, Carl Schramm and Robert Litan of the Kauffman Foundation write about what entrepreneurs really want from the government and Duke University Executive in Residence Vivek Wadhwa discusses the importance of new immigrant entrepreneurs to America.

A diverse group of prominent Republicans also provide an answer to a question that stumped Ted Kennedy when he was asked it by newsman Roger Mudd in 1979.  The question is, “Why do you want to be President?”  Providing answers to this question in the February/March issue of the Forum are, former Oklahoma Congressman Mickey Edwards, former Ladies Home Journal Editor Myrna Blyth, humorist Ben Stein, National Federal of Republican Women President Beverly Davis, Hispanic media advisor Lionel Sosa, GOP media consultant Brad Todd, and Presidential advisor Mary Matalin.

The February/March issue of the Forum also features a debate over agriculture subsidies between Republican Congressmen Bob Goodlatte and Jeff Flake.  And, featured in this month’s Ripon Profile is Governor Linda Lingle of Hawaii.

The Ripon Forum is a journal of political thought and opinion that was first published in 1965 and is now published bimonthly by the Ripon Society. The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 — Ripon, Wisconsin.

One of the main goals of the Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made the GOP — and America — great.  These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.

For more information on the Ripon Society and to view the February/March issue of The Ripon Forum, please visit