With essays by former Congressman Mike Oxley on the potential for a GOP comeback in Ohio and

Contract with America strategist Joe Gaylord on whether 2010 will be a replay of 1994

WASHINGTON, DC – The latest edition of The Ripon Forum looks at “The New Horizon” forthe Republican Party, with an essay by former Ohio Congressman Mike Oxley on the potential for a GOP comeback in the Buckeye State and Contract with America strategist Joe Gaylord writing about this year’s electoral landscape and whether 2010 will be a replay of 1994.

The Winter 2010 edition of the Forum also features Capitol Hill veteran John Feehery writing about tomorrow night’s State of the Union Address and what the GOP should say in response.  Authors and essays featured in this edition include:

  • Former Ohio Congressman Mike Oxley – writing about “The New Horizon” for Republicans in Ohio and how John Kasich and Rob Portman stand poised to lead a GOP comeback in the Buckeye State this year.
  • Youngstown State Political Science Professor William Binning — writing about “The Winter of Ohio’s Discontent,” and how the economic climate in the Buckeye state is affecting the political environment this year.
  • Contract with America strategist Joe Gaylord – assessing the electoral landscape for Republicans this fall and asking, “Will the 2010 elections be a replay of 1994?”
  • Capitol Hill veteran John Feehery – writing about “The Real State of the Union” and providing a balanced Republican response to the President’s address.
  • Utah Senator Bob Bennett – providing a “Reality Check” on health care and explaining why he supports reform but is opposed to what the Democrats are trying to do.
  • House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Buck McKeon – providing a “Status Report” on the conflict in Afghanistan and the ongoing war on terror.
  • Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Peter King – explaining why he is opposed to the Obama Administration’s “Dangerous Decision” to treat terrorists as common criminals, instead of enemy combatants.
  • Emerging Threats Subcommittee Ranking Member Dan Lungren – writing about the failed bombing attempt of a U.S. jet on Christmas Day and an effort he is spearheading to keep our airlines more secure.
  • Georgetown Professor and former Asst. Treasury Secretary Phillip Swagel – writing about the need for financial reform and the importance of making sure reform is driven by sound policy, instead of populism.
  • University of Kansas Professor Burdett Loomis – writing about the influence of the Blue Dog Democrats and whether they are “All Bark and No Bite.”

The Winter edition of The Ripon Forum also features a profile of Missouri Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson.   In a note to the readers, Forum Editor Lou Zickar discusses the focus of this edition and some of the authors and essays included.

“For a generation of Americans,” Zickar writes, “the phrase Morning in Americaand the presidency of Ronald Reagan will forever be linked.  The phrase represented not just the dawning of a new day for our Nation, but the dawning of a new era for the GOP. Today, Republicans are looking for a similar phrase that captures the mood of the country at this time and sets the tone for the mid-term elections this fall.

“Surely, the wind is at the party’s back.  And certainly, Democrats are in as vulnerable a position as Jimmy Carter was in 1980.  But if the picture at this point remains unclear about the party’s electoral prospects in November, an image of the electoral landscape is becoming sharper everyday.  It is a landscape that presents Republicans with something they haven’t seen in a very long time — A New Horizon.

“It is a horizon that looks completely different than the one Republicans faced in November of 2008.  Then, the GOP was coming off one of its worst defeats in recent history, as Democrats recaptured the White House and added to their majorities on Capitol Hill.  The horizon today is much brighter.  It is one shaped as much by the missteps of the Obama Administration as it is by the victories of Scott Brown, Bob McDonnell, and Chris Christie over the past few months.  It is also one that presents Republicans with both opportunities and challenges.

“In this edition of the Forum, we examine some of these opportunities and challenges.  We begin by focusing on the political environment in Ohio.  The state has trended blue in recent years, electing a Democrat as Governor and to the U.S. Senate and supporting Barack Obama for President.  But as former Congressman Mike Oxley explains in our lead essay, Obama’s ‘soaring start has stalled and is now more of a freefall, as Ohioans increasingly disapprove of the broad direction on mega-issues like the economy, health care, energy cap-and-trade, government spending, and security/terrorism.’  As a result, Republicans have been presented with a new horizon in the Buckeye State, with John Kasich and Rob Portman leading the effort to reclaim electoral ground that has been lost in recent years.

“Similar opportunities await Republicans elsewhere in the country as well.   In fact, as Contract with America strategist Joe Gaylord writes, the horizon facing the GOP this year is very similar to the one the party faced in 1994, the year it took control of Congress. But Gaylord also notes that there are differences, too, not the least of which is the fact that the party has not yet gotten behind a Contract-like slate of solutions that would tell people what Republicans are for, not just against.

“One important area where the GOP has no shortage of solutions is national security.  In light of the failed bombing of an airliner on Christmas Day, these solutions have been receiving not just more attention, but a greater sense of urgency as well.  We look at some of these solutions with Representatives Peter King, Buck McKeon, and Dan Lungren, three leaders in Congress who are working to keep America secure.

“And finally, to the extent that the health care debate is at a crossroads (or, depending on your perspective, in a ditch), we feature a terrific essay by Utah Senator Bob Bennett explaining why he supports reforming the current system but is opposed to what the Democrats are trying to do.”

The Ripon Forum is published by the Ripon Society in Washington, DC.  Founded in 1962, the Ripon Society is a public policy organization that 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 America great and contributed to the GOP’s past success.  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 current edition of The Ripon Forum, please visit


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