Carter, Estes, Pfluger & Bice Honored with 2024 Roosevelt Leadership Awards

WASHINGTON, DC — With Congress paralyzed by partisanship and common ground getting harder and harder to reach, The Ripon Society and Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange honored four leaders in Congress for their efforts to put policy above politics and work across the aisle to find solutions to some of the most pressing challenges Americans face.

The leaders were U.S. Representatives Buddy Carter (GA-1), Ron Estes (KS-4), August Pfluger (TX-11), and Stephanie Bice (OK-5).  The four were presented with the 2024 Roosevelt Leadership Award, an honor that is given annually in the spirit of America’s 26th President and is intended to recognize leaders who embody some of the same qualities and characteristics that Theodore Roosevelt displayed throughout his life and career.

Like previous awards celebrations, which featured a visit to a presidential library, monument, or museum, this year’s celebration was held this past Monday and Tuesday in Key West, Florida at the Truman Little White House, where President Truman spent so much of his time.

‘The place appealed to him as nowhere else.  He loved the warm sea and balmy tropical nights, as perhaps only an inland North American can.  His quarters were in what had been the commandant’s residence at the Key West naval base, a modest-sized white frame house in West Indian style, simply but comfortably furnished.  Hibiscus and bougainvillea bloomed in the garden.  The cares, the pressures, the formality of the presidency, all began to subside almost the moment he arrived.

‘He put on bright patterned sports shirts – ‘Harry Truman shirts,’ as they became known – and set off on his early morning walks through the picturesque old town of Key West, stopping sometimes for a cup of coffee at a local lunch counter.  The White House pouch arrived daily; members of the Cabinet, congressional leaders, and the Joint Chiefs flew in and out for meetings, and some days he was on the phone far more than he liked.

‘But he enjoyed a daily swim, head up to keep his glasses dry, while one or two Navy boats stood guard.  He loafed in the sun with members of the staff, joked, swapped stories, read, listened to classical music on the phonograph, took an afternoon nap, played poker on the porch nearly every evening, slept soundly, and started off each new day, before his walk, with a shot of bourbon.’

“It was a different time, to say the least,” Conzelman continued.  “It was a different era.  You’ll get a better sense of that era – and the Truman presidency – when we visit the Little White House tomorrow.

“As for tonight, we wanted to focus on one thing that has not changed in the 70-plus years since Harry Truman served as President – and that is the importance of bold leadership, and the need for great men and women to serve in government. It is in that spirit that we present the 2024 Roosevelt Leadership Awards.”

“We wanted to focus on one thing that has not changed in the 70-plus years since Harry Truman served as President – and that is the importance of bold leadership, and the need for great men and women to serve in government.”

According to Conzelman, the award was established with one premise in mind – namely, that there is a lot of good, thoughtful work being done on Capitol Hill and in Washington that people do not regularly hear about. To that end, the Roosevelt Leadership Award honors those leaders:

Who have a sense of duty and service driven by a love of country.

Who possess a desire to do what is in the best interests of the American people – regardless of party, and regardless of who gets the credit; and,

Who embody the qualities that Theodore Roosevelt spoke of when he said: “The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause; who at best know the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if they fail, fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

“The four leaders we are honoring embody these qualities and more,” Conzelman stated.  “Between them, they have devoted over 70 years of their lives to serving the American people.  Individually, they have made their mark in many important ways.”

Conzelman noted that this is the ninth year the Roosevelt Leadership Awards have been presented.  Last year’s awards dinner was held in Rapid City, South Dakota, and featured a visit to Mount Rushmore.  The year before, the awards celebration was held in Austin and featured visits to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum and the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station.  In 2021, the dinner was held in Charlottesville and included visits to Thomas Jefferson’s home at Monticello, and the home where James and Dolly Madison lived at Montpelier.  The 2019 awards celebration was held at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, while the 2018 awards were presented at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda.

The 2017 celebration was held in New York and included visits to Theodore Roosevelt’s historic home at Sagamore Hill and Franklin Roosevelt’s estate and museum in Hyde Park. In 2016, the awards celebration was held at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, while the inaugural Roosevelt Awards in 2015 were held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, and included a visit to Rancho del Cielo, President Reagan’s historic ranch atop the Santa Ynez Mountain range northwest of Santa Barbara.

To learn more about this year’s Roosevelt Award Honorees, please click here.

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.

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.