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Senator Claire McCaskill (D) and Buffy Wicks, Missouri state director for the Obama campaign, made an early morning stop in Warrensburg to have coffee and speak with campaign volunteers.

Senator Claire McCaskill (center) and Buffy Wicks (right, in blue)

Claire McCaskill: Good morning everybody. It’s so, I’m glad you got up early to take a few minutes to visit. We’ve got a lot of miles to cover today, so we had to start early. I, when I told them all the places that I wanted to stop in one day I think, I’m trying to wear the young people out.

Buffy Wicks: She’s doing a good job. [laughter]

Claire McCaskill: I’m trying to show ’em, you know, how we campaign at the end in Missouri. That, we, we go everywhere and try to see everyone. You know I would really, I’d love you guys to tell me what you’re hearing on the ground. I mean Johnson County is a good example of a swing county. It is really, frankly, a classic swing county in many ways, as this guy knows, he’s been involved in many of these campaigns. I’m curious as to what you all are hearing and seeing out here in Johnson County about what the vote’s going to be like. It’s okay, if it’s bad news you can tell me. I, you know, I’m really curious what you guys think.

Volunteer: We’re getting a lot of positive feedback. We’re having a lot of signs stolen, especially Obama signs. We’re having Republicans put up Obama signs. One of our Democrats had a sign stolen and made a homemade sign – “Thank you for stealing the Obama sign. For every sign stolen I’m donating to the Democratic Party.” [laughter]

Claire McCaskill: That’s great. What a great way for dealing with sign theft. [laughter] Has there been any graffiti or any, you know, nasty stuff in…?

Volunteer: A little graffiti, mostly stealing of signs.

Claire McCaskill: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And what do you guys think in terms of, of overall? I mean, what do you…? Do you think Obama will carry Johnson County?

Volunteer: Yes.

Claire Mccaskill: You do? Oh, oh no. Come on, you guys, What do you think?

Volunteer: Well, on the phone, used to be “No, no, no, no.” Now it’s, “I think I am. Yes, I am. I’ve made my decision. I was a Republican but now I’m going to vote for Obama…”

…Claire McCaskill: So, you, you, you sense that there’s been movement toward Obama?

Volunteer(s): Oh, yes. [crosstalk] There’s been a lot of comments. And they tell you why they’ve changed.

Claire McCaskill: And why are they saying they’ve changed their mind?

Volunteer: Palin. And John McCain, just, you know. And they’re goin’, “I’ve always been a fan of his, but no longer,” is what I hear…

Volunteer: I’ve seen it door to door, too. It’s kind of mixed….I would say, when I was going out about three weeks ago, you know, there were a lot of undecideds. And so, we jumped on that, you know. That was a great opportunity for us to really talk to those people….we’ve put information in their hands and said, “Here you go. Here’s his plan. Here’s what’s, what’s gonna happen…”

…Claire McCaskill: And, you know, I, I cannot stress what a difference it’s making in this campaign, that people are seeing people from Warrensburg talking to people from Warrensburg about why they should be for Barack Obama…

…This is the kind of leader Barack Obama wants to be. And he really does believe that it’s about bringing people together, empowering people to take responsibility for themselves, making sure that they go out and begin to work together, and so, I think it’s incredibly exciting. It’s very, very exciting.

Now tell me about the McCain presence. What do you see of John McCain in Warrensburg?

Volunteer: Signs.

Claire McCaskill: Signs.

Field staffer:…we’re constantly being told about the calls they just got.

Claire McCaskill: Robocalls?

…Field staffer: …and what did they say when they asked you a question? “Well, it’s a machine.”

Claire McCaskill: Right. Yeah. So they’re getting, they’re getting automated calls for McCain and you’re calling live and they’re saying, “We just got a robocall for McCain…”

Do you see ’em out on the doors? [crosstalk] No…

….It’s all about the margins. You know. We have abandoned the notion that used to be the game plan in Missouri that we ignore the areas that are Republican, we work really hard to turn out the Democratic areas, and cross our fingers. Well, that has been radically changed now. We now understand that we’ve got to campaign in every corner of the state….

…And I think it’s gonna make a big difference in the margins, in rural Missouri. I really do. I think people are gonna be surprised how well we do in rural Missouri. And in the swing areas, like Johnson County…