Obama in Atlanta; Barnes elsewhere

Georgia Democrat says scheduling conflict keeps him 100 miles away

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ATLANTA - Georgia's most prominent Democrat will be nowhere near Barack Obama when the president comes to Atlanta today.

Former Gov. Roy Barnes' campaign said it was simply a matter of conflicting schedules as Barnes tries to catch the attention of voters more than 100 miles away in southern Georgia and ultimately win his old job back.

It's a tough year for Democrats, who control both the U.S. Senate and House, with voters frustrated by the sluggish economy and high unemployment. And Georgia is a GOP stronghold carried by Republican John McCain in 2008. Political experts say that means Barnes needs to distance himself from national Democrats - and Obama - as much as possible if he's to win in November.

Barnes' campaign manager, Chris Carpenter, said he had already scheduled the campaign trips elsewhere when he learned of Obama's visit and decided to keep those commitments.

"I had to make a difficult decision on how to best utilize Gov. Barnes' time and travel," Carpenter said.

But the choice might not have been all that difficult.

Obama has seen his approval ratings decline recently. An AP-GfK poll conducted in June had Obama's national approval rating at 50 percent.

And he's even more unpopular in Georgia: A poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. in July had Obama with a 37 percent approval rating in the state. Fifty percent of those surveyed disapproved of Obama's performance.

Obama has seen his support from independent voters who helped boost him to a White House win in 2008 fade. Barnes will need to appeal to those very voters in a state where the GOP controls both chambers of the Legislature and both U.S. Senate seats - and where Republican Sonny Perdue snatched the governor's mansion from Barnes in 2002.

Furthermore, a Democrat hasn't won an open statewide seat in Georgia since Barnes was elected governor in 1998. And the last Democratic presidential candidate to carry Georgia was Bill Clinton in 1992.

Barnes has already been carefully putting distance between himself and the White House.

He has said he'd sign an Arizona-style immigration law as long as it contained safeguards against racial profiling. The Obama administration is suing Arizona to block the law, which gives local authorities more power to go after illegal immigrants. A federal judge has put parts of the law on hold.

Barnes has also said while there are pieces of the Obama-backed health care law he likes - like insurance coverage for preexisting conditions - there are others he thinks go too far.

Republicans have already been linking Barnes to the Obama administration. An appearance with the president could give the GOP a desirable campaign prop: a photo of the two together that could be splashed on mailers and in television ads.

State Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Everhart accused Barnes of "hiding out on the other side of the state Monday."

She linked the rising national deficit under Obama to pricey spending proposals Barnes is pushing in his gubernatorial bid.

Even Perdue got in a dig. His spokesman, Bert Brantley, said the Republican governor had juggled his schedule so that he could meet Obama's plane when it landed. Term limits prevent Perdue from seeking a third term.

"Even if you disagree with his policies, we think its important to respect the office of the president and welcome him to Georgia," Brantley said.

The trip today will be Obama's first to Atlanta since being elected president. He visited Savannah in March. He's set to address the Disabled American Veterans convention and will then headline a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.

Carpenter said Barnes wasn't invited to the president's official event with the veterans.

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handoff57
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handoff57 08/02/10 - 05:26 am
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You mean that ole Roy isn't

You mean that ole Roy isn't even liberal enough for mr. Bama's party??

Dixieman
17620
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Dixieman 08/02/10 - 08:54 am
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SYDNEY, Australia (World

SYDNEY, Australia (World Press), August 2 -- Former Governor Roy Barnes of the US State of Georgia made a surprise unscheduled 24-hour stopover in Australia today. Barnes himself could not be reached for comment, but when asked when he would be returning to the US, a Barnes spokesman replied, "Has Obama gone back to Washington yet? I mean, um, we're not sure of Mr. Barnes' schedule at this time..."

justus4
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justus4 08/02/10 - 06:43 am
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This is just getting too
Unpublished

This is just getting too ridiculous...the guy holds no office, so what capacity would he be in if he was around the CINC? Again, some stealth negativity that's inferred from the silly article and implied winks about something, but U can bet it's a negative approach about events regarding U know who. Nothing new here, just a typical failure to present the facts accurately w/o your personal biases. No surprises here...

chascush
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chascush 08/02/10 - 07:49 am
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Maybe old Roy ain't as dumb

Maybe old Roy ain't as dumb as I thought he was.

seenitB4
98777
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seenitB4 08/02/10 - 08:07 am
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Can you blame him...O can't

Can you blame him...O can't help him & he knows it.

chascush
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chascush 08/02/10 - 08:42 am
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seenitbe ‘O can't help him &

seenitbe ‘O can't help him & he knows it.’
You are correct about that. But the liberal folks are real good at making excuses for Hussein.
I’m sure they will come up with a lot of excuses why it was not Hussein's fault when DUMocrats lose in Nov. I got a good for them, do like Hussein, it is Bush’s fault.

usafvet
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usafvet 08/02/10 - 08:44 am
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I do wish they could get

I do wish they could get together and be congenial. Of course my next wish is that dumbobama would take lying barnes with him to Kenya, and "da sooner de better".

usafvet
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usafvet 08/02/10 - 08:46 am
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See, I can be nice to

See, I can be nice to democrats. I want them all to be happy and prosperous and get along and anything else they wish to do...in Kenya.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 08/02/10 - 08:48 am
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Imagine that...even a

Imagine that...even a democratic candidate doesn't want to be seen with Obama.

usafvet
3
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usafvet 08/02/10 - 08:50 am
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"The chronicle is trying to

"The chronicle is trying to make it look BAD". that's dumbobama's accepted MO. It is like the chronicle is trying to make rattlesnakes look dangerous.

chascush
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chascush 08/02/10 - 08:50 am
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thanks, Only, you did for me.

thanks, Only, you did for me.

chascush
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chascush 08/02/10 - 08:53 am
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Only, ‘chauscush you forgot

Only, ‘chauscush you forgot to mention black ministers and the black community in your 9:42 am post.’
I’ll try not to mention it any more. RCR1 almost blew a fuse last night. If you know him he needs help.

GAterp
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GAterp 08/02/10 - 09:36 am
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Roy will be our next

Roy will be our next Governor! I was not here the last time he was governor; and from what I've heard I don't believe that he was perfect then either. At least he didn't go "really South" like Zell Miller, who I also admired until he lost the marbles that he was playing with. Handel or Deal? I look at that choice, and Sonny doesn't look so bad anymore!

chascush
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chascush 08/02/10 - 09:40 am
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Only, ‘Chascush I suggest you

Only, ‘Chascush I suggest you keep stating that in all your post,’
I wouldn’t want you to blow a fuse like RCR1 after all you have to get ready for the OTHER 8/28 rally.

Dixieman
17620
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Dixieman 08/02/10 - 09:42 am
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Roy is toast. Karen H will

Roy is toast. Karen H will win the primary and then clean his clock.

dani
13
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dani 08/02/10 - 10:15 am
0
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whoa

whoa

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