The details are still scarce, but it has been confirmed that President Barack Obama will be in Atlanta on Thursday.
The White House is expected to announce the details of his visit in the next few days, including the purpose of the trip and where and when the president will appear.
The President is going to travel only to two cities next week, following his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. He will be in Asheville, N.C., on Wednesday, and then Atlanta on Thursday.
Many believe that the president’s visit is part of a long-term strategy by Democrats to win the state of Georgia in the 2016 election. The visit may also be part of a strategy to make a play for the Senate seat that will be vacated in 2014 by Saxby Chambliss.
Chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, Mike Berlon said Friday that the President’s appearance in Atlanta is part of a plan to help bolster the party in its quest to turn Georgia from a Red state into a Purple or Blue state in the next two election cycles.
“It’s huge for us,” Berlon told WXIA. :I mean, we know that in 2014 and into 2016, Georgia’s going to be in play. And this is just the beginning, I think, of a lot of visits to Georgia to help turn the state Blue….. We know the next two targeted states are North Carolina and Georgia. If you win North Carolina and Georgia in 2016, that’s a combined 33 electoral votes. If that happens, there’s almost no chance they’ll elect a Republican nationally to the presidency in my lifetime.”
Berlon said that even though President Obama did not win Georgia in 2012, “The President got 45.5 percent of the vote here with very little help from the national party. And the President’s people are very smart people, they understand both issues and politics, so we’re really excited to have him here. They recognize the significance of the state, and I think that now that the election is over, they’re on to making sure that we win in the future.”
Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed recently said told a group of journalists at the Atlanta Press Club that Georgia was on “an irreversible path to a Democratic majority” largely because of the changing demographics of the state.
The historically red state looks as though it may be a hotbed of political activity in the next two-four years.
Last week Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus visited Atlanta to speak with several to Black Republicans in the state on what the party termed, “an African-American engagement and listening session” designed to produce ideas on how to bring more Black voters to the GOP.
Priebus said the party plans to be in communities of color and specifically Black communities year-round, “asking for the sale.”
Obama’s visit looks to be a counter to that strategy. The White House is expected to announce soon the time and location for Obama’s return to Atlanta. The president was last in Atlanta on march 14.