Roy Barnes suggests “large portion” of state elected officials don’t know small Georgia towns exist. Then he makes his own geography error.

May 1, 2009 8:57 am

by Pete Randall · 40 comments

Thanks to an alert on the tip line, Roy Barnes recently made a visit to Americus, as reported by the Americus Times-Recorder.

As intrepid reporter Becky Holland drooled over Barnes’ “laid-back demeanor” and “well thought answers and genuine smile,” she made sure to transcribe all his thoughts concerning his “new perspective about the state of the State and how things should operate.”

For starters, Barnes thinks that a “large portion” of state elected officials are clueless about Georgia geography and population centers:

“We seem to think nothing below, really, Griffin, needs to be concentrated on as far as marketing and economic development. I think every member of the legislature should take a tour of the state of Georgia. I believe there are some members who are not aware that there is more to the state then the metro areas.”

“Georgia is the largest state geographically east of the Mississippi. We have challenges to make sure that we spread growth throughout the state, instead of concentrating it in one part of the state,” Barnes said.


“You have to remember that 57% of the population in the state is concentrated in and around Atlanta. I believe a large portion of the elected officials, state elected officials, probably have never heard of Americus, Dawson, Blakely or Ellaville.”

Vapid and ignorant rhetoric like this shows that the arrogance of King Roy hasn’t left…it has just been repackaged. And for someone who professes such superior knowledge about Georgia and its place as the “largest state geographically east of the Mississippi,” it is amusing he seems unaware that Michigan actually is the largest state geographically (including water within its borders) east of the Mississippi with 97,990 square miles. Georgia is only 59,425 square miles in size, water included.

Poor Roy.

LoyaltyIsMyHonor May 1, 2009 at 9:17 am

I can’t believe I just wasted 2 minutes (yes, I’m a slow reader) of my life reading this post.

RuralDem May 1, 2009 at 9:20 am

“Vapid and ignorant rhetoric like this shows that the arrogance”

Pot. Kettle. Black.

(Wait, simply seeing the word “black” on the computer screen probably sets you off..)

Pappy May 1, 2009 at 9:23 am

A lot of small towns located on the water within Michigan’s borders, are there?

barstool69 May 1, 2009 at 9:26 am

This is stupid…

ProgressivePeach May 1, 2009 at 9:27 am

Could you please find better nits to pick? That post plumbed the deep recesses of stupid.

iheartmaps May 1, 2009 at 9:30 am

not to mention Florida (65,795 sq mi).

someone must’ve showed old Roy a map that uses an upside-down Peters projection (ahem, a little West Wing homage)

boyreporter May 1, 2009 at 9:30 am

Everybody knows Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi. It has been drilled into every school student for decades if not longer, because, sadly, there is little else to brag about.

boyreporter May 1, 2009 at 9:31 am

But, having written that, I agree with ProgressivePeach 100%.

Loren May 1, 2009 at 9:32 am

You don’t even want to acknowledge the fact that Georgia is larger than Michigan in terms of land area? Since maybe, just maybe, that’s what Roy was thinking of? Like Pappy said, his central point about the population spread doesn’t really apply to water-covered areas.

Pete Randall May 1, 2009 at 9:39 am

That’s right, focus on the point at the end and NOT Barnes’ allegation that a large number of state elected officials “probably have never heard of Americus, Dawson, Blakely or Ellaville” and “are not aware that there is more to the state then the metro areas.”

You guys are hilarious!

Ronald Daniels May 1, 2009 at 9:41 am

I think you may have missed the point of me submitting this to the tip line . . .

Pete Randall May 1, 2009 at 9:47 am

No, I just took a different view of the story!

Ronald Daniels May 1, 2009 at 9:55 am

No, not you so much – but the people commenting.

Pete Randall May 1, 2009 at 9:58 am

Oh, they are harmless. They’d rather take issue with the geographic comparison between the two states than directly deal with King Roy’s outlandish and pandering comments about a majority of Georgia’s elected officials having no knowledge about where half the state lives.

We can’t all be as smart at King Roy, can we!

Goldwater Conservative May 1, 2009 at 10:01 am

Splitting hairs a bit there…aren’t you Mr.Randall.

I give you poor marks on this post.

LoyaltyIsMyHonor May 1, 2009 at 10:01 am

Well he is pretty smart..and he’s also very arrogant. But that’s not exactly breaking news, is it?

Pete Randall May 1, 2009 at 10:04 am

Splitting hairs a bit there…aren’t you Mr.Randall.

Nope, not one bit. And you, also, keep on missing Barnes’ outlandish allegations about the knowledge of state elected officials!

Ronald Daniels May 1, 2009 at 10:06 am

I look at this article and I have difficulty not coming to the conclusion that King Roy is running again.

Am I to believe that Roy just happened to come to a city that is Democrat friendly? Coincidentally he visits people who belong to groups he angered las time he was in office.

Barnes said he would decide by the first of June and make it known publicly if he was going to run for the office of Governor for the state of Georgia.

“I enjoy going around and seeing everyone. I hadn’t been down here since I left office, and I used to come down here a lot. When I was a young pup of a lawyer, I used to come to the federal courthouse.”

Smiling, coyly, when asked if he was leaning toward running again or not, Barnes said, “Some days, I am, and some days, I am not.”

If he doesn’t run, I’ll eat my hat.

macho May 1, 2009 at 10:13 am

I love how his, “I be a good ol’ country lawyer” populist rhetoric flies in the face of the picture of Barnes and his wife grinning ear to ear outside of their Marietta mansion. The AJC has an article on his huge metro Atlanta home. This guy is cut out of the same cloth as Edwards.

Howard Roark May 1, 2009 at 10:14 am

The KGB will not run. The fact that he is paying attention to rural Georgia and accusing others of not doing so is funny. This is from a man who raised over 20 million dollars and ran an urban campaign in 2002. My guess is Nathan Deal will clean his plow if he chooses to run.

macho May 1, 2009 at 10:17 am

I forgot to mention, the category for the AJC article on Roy’s Metro Atlanta mansion is “CELEBRITY SPLURGE”.

Zoso May 1, 2009 at 10:18 am

1) I think this post falls in the category of “So what?”
2) His comments are not far from reality; most politicians are only aware of where their next kickback/hunting trip/campaign contribution is coming from or who’s lips are puckered and ready for some good butt-kissing. They don’t care if it’s from a small town or a big city. His comments are in the Pandering 101 textbook for any politician speaking in a small town.
3) No, I’m not a Barnes supporter or a Democrat. I’m not a Libertarian. I am a Republican. But choosing my affiliation is like choosing between getting punched in the face or gut; both will hurt like hell but which do hate the least.

Y’all keep ‘em straight.

Jason Shepherd May 1, 2009 at 10:40 am

You are slitting hairs. “We are the state with the largest land mass east of the Mississippi” would be a 100% correct statement. To say Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi is technically incorrect, but it also can convey something that it correct.

Also, it is not typical to include water when calculating square miles. We are focusing on the point at the end because you focused on it as the incorrect statement by Barnes. If you had went more in depth on the charge that most politicians do not know rural Georgia, then that’s what people would focus on.

Also, EVERYONE knows Americus.

If you include water area, FL is also bigger.

Steve Perkins May 1, 2009 at 11:11 am

Wow, Pete… you really got him. I also heard that Roy mistook “chromium” for “manganese” on his periodic table back science class as a college freshman. Clearly unqualified!

Err, then again… the man does HAVE a college degree…

Goldwater Conservative May 1, 2009 at 11:41 am

I don’t think his allegations are outlandish. Things have progressively declined in GA since the Republican take-over.

We have a group of morons in the legislature that think cutting taxes will increase revenue. It didn’t work the first time, and then they tried it again. All the while telling you that spending is the problem, then increasing that too.

Come to think of it…maybe, just maybe you are right. Afterall, you and the rest of the GA GOP voters are the ones that fell for all of this b/s. Maybe you are the one to blame.

rugby May 1, 2009 at 11:52 am

Seriously, Rogue is as bad as SpaceyG.

Why is he on the front page?

deus ex machina May 1, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Of all the things you could have focused on as being incorrect or statistically inaccurate, you chose the only one that technically is correct. Touché, touché. So, this is basically a useless post, which would make my response perpetuating uselessness. Nice.

Big Mack May 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Macho is right. He is the same arrogant tub of guts that he was 8 years ago. He will run and he will get his ass beat.

TPNoGa May 1, 2009 at 1:17 pm

I don’t know much about Roy Barnes, except he ticked off teachers and created a butt-ugly state flag.

TPNoGa May 1, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Why do they call him King Roy? Is there a story behind it?

Patrick Mayer May 1, 2009 at 1:49 pm

I love the fact that all of the cities he mentioned are in SW Georgia… way to diversify the geography there.

Sumter (Americus) which is touching both Schley (Ellaville) and Terrell (Dawson) which is separated from Early (Blakely) by Calhoun.

At least represent the state. What about Odum, Tiger, Trenton, and Baconton… Think he knows where they are?

GOPGrassroots May 1, 2009 at 2:01 pm

How about…Gay, or Between, Climax and Cumming just to highlight a few more.


Patrick Mayer May 1, 2009 at 2:16 pm

I guess it would depend on when you looked at the “cities” on water in Michigan. There is an awful lot of ice fishing up there… hahahahaha

macho May 1, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Roy’s got his little map of the swing counties memorized.

Bucky Plyler May 1, 2009 at 2:27 pm

The Democrat Party needs to find new candidates to run for Governor instead of trotting out the same boring stuff. Roy Barnes exemplifies the monolithic, tested & failed, voter rejected policies of that will never work in today’s Georgia. If the D’s want to remain where they are politically in Georgia-just keep running the tired, old rejected ideas of the past. It’s time for change and stimulus.

Oh wait a minute…I can’t use the D playbook on D’s..sorry my bad. Happy Friday anyway.

Progressive Dem May 1, 2009 at 2:48 pm

This front page poster walks around with toilet paper on his shoe all the time.

Didn’t he make a post that taken down earlier this week about Ox’s contract after a previous poster complained about it copying his previous post about Ox’s contract?

And didn’t he post about DeKalb’s public saftey director on which there no comments?

Three strikes in one week. A hat trick in vapid.

bucky May 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I wonder if he can find his way from Hopeful to Climax?

Grrr May 1, 2009 at 4:32 pm

As a crow flies, Hopeful and Climax (in southwest Georgia) are only 15 miles apart and Roy can find ‘em both. Fact is, Roy is absolutely right. Many legislators don’t think beyond the metro and most don’t think beyond their respective districts. The front page poster misses Roy’s point and uses poor data to support the argument.

ruralGOP May 1, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Wow. I never thought Hopeful would ever be mentioned on PP. Actually, King Roy visited Hopeful while he was Governor.

Sid Cottingham May 2, 2009 at 11:29 am

Get a life Pete, and keep such tips to yourself.

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