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Interview with Marie Barnes, January 29, 2009

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:43 - Early life / Meeting Roy

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Partial Transcript: We're anxious to hear about your life before you became First Lady.

Segment Synopsis: Barnes talks about growing up in Cherokee County and Cobb County, attending Kennesaw Junior College and then transferring to the University of Georgia. She recalls meeting her husband through a blind date, meeting his family, and how they both ran in similar political circles. Barnes talks about marrying while Roy was still in law school.

Keywords: Kennesaw Junior College; University of Georgia; education; family; marriage

00:11:03 - Campaigning for Roy

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Partial Transcript: Did you think after your wedding that he would ever be Governor of Georgia?

Segment Synopsis: Barnes talks about campaigning for Roy during his first race for the State Senate, and balancing raising young kids with campaigning. She discusses Roy's defeat in the 1990 governor race and his subsequent win in 1998, and memories of the inauguration.

Keywords: Andy Young; Zell Miller; campaigning; childcare; gubernatorial election

00:21:29 - First Lady role

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Partial Transcript: Had you thought about what you planned to do as First Lady when you moved into the mansion?

Segment Synopsis: Barnes talks about the issues she focused on as First Lady, including upgrading the standards for child cognitive development in early childcare. She also describes hosting events at the Governor's mansion, making time to spend as a family, and the occasion when Prince Philip visited the mansion.

Keywords: Prince Philip; cognitive development; early childcare; education; learning; public policy

00:33:15 - Initiatives: education, children, women's health

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Partial Transcript: You were an elementary school teacher, you said.

Segment Synopsis: Barnes talks about the Georgia Early Learning Initiative she helped spearhead to encourage learning activities in childcare facilities. She also talks about two additional programs, Keep Georgia Children Alcohol-Free and Safe Kids Georgia. Barnes also describes her advocacy for women's health, and mentions the Office of Women's Health that Roy Barnes founded.

Keywords: childcare; education; gendered medicine; public policy; women's health

00:44:38 - Educational platform

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Partial Transcript: His platform when he won in 1998 was education.

Segment Synopsis: Barnes comments on the need for more comprehensive education that can compete with education systems internationally. She discusses the need for a partnership between parents and schools, and mentions successful educational models like KIPP academies.

Keywords: KIPP academy; charter school; educational reform; public education

00:49:18 - Legacy of Roy Barnes' governorship

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Partial Transcript: In my mind, there are three major contributions that Roy Barnes made to the state of Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Barnes highlights the policy issues that Roy Barnes focused on during his governorship, including changing the Georgia flag, building roads across the state, and planning for a reservoir expansion.

Keywords: Georgia flag controversy; transportation; water issues

00:53:27 - Re-election campaign

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Partial Transcript: Well, then came 2002.

Segment Synopsis: Barnes recalls the negative advertising used in the 2002 reelection campaign and its effect on her family.

Keywords: negative advertising; smear campaign

01:00:59 - Life after politics / Family

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Partial Transcript: How did you and he adjust to life after politics?

Segment Synopsis: Barnes talks about adjusting to life after the governor's office, how Roy worked for a while in Legal Aid, and what her children are pursuing professionally.

Keywords: Legal Aid; children; family

01:10:32 - Newborn screening health initiative

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Partial Transcript: Two of the things that I'm most proud of that we did while I was there...

Segment Synopsis: Barnes talks about her advocacy for widespread hearing screenings and metabolic disorders screenings for newborns.

Keywords: Heather Whitestone; Miss America; child health; early childhood disorders; newborns