A dose of last night’s Obama pregame…

5:15 Wednesday

Sen. Barack Obama is the first Democratic presidential nominee to visit Columbia on the campaign trail since Michael Dukakis made a minor visit in 1988. This visit will likely be a tad more memorable than that one.

A dozen Obama volunteers concentrated on how best to cut letters out large pieces of white board for a sign to read “Missouri For Change.”

“Are we doing capital ‘I’s or lower case?,” a volunteer asked aloud.

Other volunteers had already painted about two-dozen smaller signs on poster board colorfully pleading for “No Banners/Glass/Knives.” Obama-themed jack-o-lanterns sat on grass next to the signs, each carved carefully with the Illinois Senator’s trademark O-swoosh.

Passersby meanwhile stopped to take in the scene and chat.

Roger Cook, a Professor of German and chair of MU’s Film Studies Committee, said he was excited about the coming spectacle. He said he looked forward to rally speeches that could, at this advanced stage in the campaign eschew the talking points and capitalize on political energy.

“(It’ll be) nice to do a rally just to get fired up,” Cook said.

Caitlin Ellis, president of MU’s College Democrats said more volunteers have signed up to help the campaign since the Obama campaign announced the event.

Ellis checked her voicemail Monday afternoon to find a message from an Obama senior coordinator asking “if it would be alright for my boss to come to Mizzou,” she said.

“It says a lot about how important Mizzou, Columbia and Boone County are,” she said. “Clearly this is a battleground area.”

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