ATLANTA — President Obama makes his first Atlanta appearance since his inauguration.

The President will fly into town Monday morning.

If you think this will be a time for Democrats running for office to rally around the cheif executive, you probably haven’t been following the campaigns this summer.

Former Governor Roy Barnes will not be available to meet Mr. Obama. The Democratic gubanatorial candidate will be somewhere in Georgia, far from Atlanta.

Campaign Manager Chris Carpenter released a statement:

“Roy has a busy campaign schedule in Middle and South georgia on Monday where he’ll be talking to farmers and local law enforcement. Roy’s priority is to continue traveling across the state, talking to voters about jobs, education, and transportation- his plan to make Georgia work.”

Meanwhile, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue will greet the President planeside when the Democrat arrives in Georgia. Mr. Perdue’s spokesperson Bert Brantley told WXIA-TV reporter Jeff Hullinger the governor had to juggle his schedule to be able to greet the president.

Avoiding a sitting president is not new in Georgia politics.

In 1996 Democrat Michael Coles was running against Republican Newt Gingrich for the 6th congressional district seat. Mr. Coles avoided President Clinton at rallies in Atlanta and Macon.

Mr. Coles, a legendary atlanta entrepeneur who entertained political aspirations a decade ago spoke to Jeff Hullinger from his home in Montana.

“In 96, I stepped out of the private arena and ran against Newt Gingrich for the house. I ran as a Democrat. I think the difficult thing for anyone in Georgia – if you run as a democrat- is to seperate yourself from not being a national Democrat, because Georgia Democrats like Zell Miller and Sam Nunn are cutout of a different cloth and that’s how I wanted to be seen. I wanted to be sure, if I was going to lose that race- -I wasn’t going to be indentified as a national Democrat.”

One Democratic operative told Hullinger today- – then Governor Zell Miller wanted to be with his friend President Clinton during an Atlanta rally, however, Mr. Clinton was unpopular in Georgia at the time. Instead of the Governor appearing on stage with the President, Governor Miller appeared as a face in the crowd. He was there but couldn’t be seen.


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