ATLANTA — Amid the crowd of civil rights icons assembled in the rafters at Paschal's Restaurant on Friday to see former president Bill Clinton was a face less familiar to local residents — former Washington mayor Marion Barry Jr.
Barry sat with a who's who of Atlanta's civil rights and political royalty, including the Rev. Joseph Lowery, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), former senator Max Cleland (D-Ga.) and former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young. The group sat in an upstairs areas of the restaurant while Clinton, Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn and State Sen. Jason Carter — who's hoping to defeat Gov. Nathan Deal — spoke on stage below.
Asked after the event why he was so far south of his home base, Barry said he had traveled to the city for a magazine interview Thursday. But when he learned about Clinton's plans to rally with Nunn, Carter and his "close friend" Young, Barry opted to stick around. He planned to fly back to the District on Friday afternoon.
Besides, Barry said, he voted early last Saturday for Muriel Bowser, the Democratic candidate for mayor, and for Karl Racine to serve as the District's first attorney general.
And will Bowser be able to beat back David Catania and Carol Schwartz?
"Oh, hell yes," he said, before walking away.