Ripon Society Presents 1st Annual Theodore Roosevelt Awards to Tiberi, Walden & McMorris Rodgers

WASHINGTON, DC – At a dinner this past Thursday evening at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, The Ripon Society presented three leaders with the 1st Annual Theodore Roosevelt Award — an honor that was established to not only “capture the same spirit” that guided America’s 26th and 40th Presidents, but pay tribute to those leaders who reflect that same spirit today.

“With the 2016 presidential election just around the corner,” stated Ripon Society President & CEO Jim Conzelman in remarks to open the dinner, “many people are once again saying that what the Republican Party really needs is another Ronald Reagan. Few would argue with that. But the fact is, there will never be another Reagan. Like Washington and Lincoln, he was an American original.

“And yet there can be no doubt that the ideals and principles that Ronald Reagan embodied endure. They live on in a new generation of leaders who came of age during his presidency, and who continue to be guided by his inspiration today. The purpose of tonight’s dinner is to honor three of these leaders and present them with an award named after another American original — Theodore Roosevelt.”

According to Conzelman, the leaders honored at the dinner included U.S. Representatives: Pat Tiberi (OH-12), who serves as Chairman of the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Trade and also serves as Co-Chair of The Ripon Society’s Honorary Congressional Advisory Board; Greg Walden (OR-2), who serves as Chairman of the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and also serves as Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee; and, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who serves as Chair of the GOP Conference and is the fourth highest ranking Republican in the House.

The dinner was held in the Reagan Library’s Air Force One Pavilion, which houses the aircraft that President Reagan flew on during his eight years in the Oval Office, and, Conzelman noted, seemed an especially fitting place to present Tiberi, Walden, and McMorris Rodgers with the Theodore Roosevelt Award on Thursday night.

“There’s a lot of history on that plane,” Conzelman stated in introducing the award. “One has to wonder what Theodore Roosevelt would think if he were dining with us this evening. He was, after all, the first American President to fly in a plane. It was 1910 – a year after he left the White House, and only seven years after the Wright Brothers made their first flight. And there is TR – sitting in an open-air cockpit, next to the pilot, with nothing but a leather strap to keep him from falling out. It took guts for him to get into that plane. It took courage. But then, that’s what Theodore Roosevelt was all about.

“Coincidentally, four months to the day after Roosevelt made his historic flight, Ronald Reagan was born. The two men couldn’t have been raised in more different circumstances. One was the son of privilege. The other was the son of depression-era poverty. And yet only in America could both have ended up in the most powerful office in the land. By presenting the First Annual Theodore Roosevelt Awards at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, our hope is to capture the same spirit that drove both men to the top.

“It is a spirit driven not by ambition or a desire for personal gain. Rather, it is a spirit driven by love of country, and a desire to do what is in the best interests of the American people — regardless of party, and regardless of who gets the credit. It is also a spirit reflected in our three honorees tonight. Between them, they have over 70 years of service on both the state and national level. Individually, they have made their mark in many important ways. On behalf of the membership of The Ripon Society, it is an honor to recognize them for their leadership, their service, and their many contributions over the course of their careers.”

In addition to presenting the Theodore Roosevelt Awards at the Reagan Library on Thursday night, Conzelman noted that The Ripon Society also hosted a visit to the Reagan Ranch, known as Rancho del Cielo, the following day. The visit featured remarks by former Secret Service Agent John Barletta, who was assigned to the Western Protective Division to oversee the Reagan Ranch detail and spoke of his time guarding the President and First Lady.

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 America great and contributed to the GOP’s 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.

Founded in 1978, The Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to enhancing global understanding of important international issues.  The Franklin Center brings together Members of the U.S. Congress and their international parliamentary counterparts as well as experts from the Diplomatic corps, foreign officials, senior private sector representatives, scholars, and other public policy experts.  Through regular conferences and events where leading international opinion leaders share ideas, the Franklin Center promotes enlightened, balanced, and unbiased international policy discussion on major international issues.

To view photos from the Theodore Roosevelt Awards Dinner and visit to the Reagan Ranch, please click here.