Lincoln Days

Christian Morgan and his son, Schaefer, 3, share ice cream at the Lincoln Days ice cream social.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Few events on Missouri’s political calendar truly compare to Lincoln Days. The statewide soirée is a chance to hear messaging from the state’s Republican faithful – and an even grander opportunity to fill out one of John Combest’s bingo cards.

For political reporters, Lincoln Days is a good time to catch up with some of the Missouri’s top Republican leaders in an informal setting. Some of the best political tidbits are exchanged within crowded hallways or in creatively decorated hospitality suites – especially the secret to marshaling the perfect ice cream scoop.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, right, listens to U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton's speech at Lincoln Days.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

GOP presidential aspirant Donald Trump has promised that there will be so much winning if he’s elected that Americans will get bored of winning. But Frieda Keough isn’t sure that sentiment will carry the day in the Show Me State.


(Updated 2 p.m. Thurs, Feb. 27)

St. Louis has decided against bidding to host the 2016 Democratic presidential convention, citing the current civic focus on improving the downtown access to the Gateway Arch.

Instead, city officials will consider seeking the 2020 convention "when the Arch (project) is done and paid for," a spokesman for Mayor Francis Slay said Thursday.

File Photo

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Potential 2016 presidential hopeful Rand Paul scanned the packed ballroom of fellow Republicans, most of them older and white, and declared Saturday that their party’s makeup needs to change if the GOP is to have any hope of recapturing the White House.

“We need a bigger party. We need a party that looks like America,’’ said Paul, currently a U.S. senator from Kentucky, during the closing banquet for the Missouri Republican Party’s Lincoln Days festivities, held this year in Springfield.

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –  From U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt on down, Missouri Republicans at the party’s annual Lincoln Days festivities are full of confidence about their chances at the polls this fall and in 2016.

And the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,’’ is getting much of the credit.

“If this disaster doesn’t help us take control of the Senate, it will surprise me,” said Blunt, who sparked several ovations at Friday night’s opening banquet of the weekend gathering, held this year at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield, the senator's home turf.

via Flickr/jbouie

The biggest annual event for Missouri Republicans is more than two months away, but party leaders were eager to announce Monday that U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will be the marquee speaker at the state GOP’s Lincoln Days festivities Feb. 21-23.

The weekend gathering, which attracts hundreds of party activists, will be held in Springfield, Mo.  The event rotates among the state’s three largest cities; last year’s Lincoln Days was in St. Louis.  The event usually attracts most of the state's major Republican officials, activists, potential candidates and donors.