What to know about President Obama’s visit to Atlanta today

Barack Obama acknowledges the crowd as he arrives on stage to deliver remarks on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama will visit Atlanta on Monday to address a conference of disabled veterans, meet with party leaders and headline a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton.

Obama is set to land at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport early Monday afternoon and then will head to the Hyatt Regency in downtown for his address, which is likely to be held around 1:30 p.m. After that, he’s off to a fundraiser in northwest Atlanta and a Democratic National Committee roundtable.

We’ll be with Obama’s contingent all day, so check the Insider blog for updates. Here’s a few things to know about the president’s visit:

Why is he coming?

The only public event on his schedule is an address to the 95th National Convention of Disabled American Veterans at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta. But he’s sticking around after the speech.

Behind closed doors, Obama will attend an afternoon fundraiser held at the home of business executive Andy Prozes, the former CEO of LexisNexis Group, and Laura Heery, an architect and strategist. (A cool $33,400 to the Clinton campaign gets you through the door and a “photo opportunity.”)

The visit, four days after the Democratic National Convention, is set to be one of the first where Obama uses his star power to raise campaign cash for Clinton this cycle. The two embraced on stage last week in Philadelphia, where Obama hailed Clinton as the heir to his political legacy.

And he’s set to speak at a Democratic National Committee meeting in Atlanta with heavyweight donors and elected officials before he returns to Washington.

Is my commute doomed? 

President Barack Obama speaks at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit on Tuesday in downtown Atlanta. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

President Barack Obama speaks at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in downtown Atlanta. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

The route Obama will take is uncertain, but expect his visit to snarl traffic downtown around noon and Buckhead in the early afternoon.

What’s he going to say?

Obama is set to announce on Monday that the overall homelessness rate among ex-military members has been cut nearly in half and outline plans to reduce it further during a speech that aims to highlight how his administration tried to help veterans during his administration.

Obama, who leaves office in January, vowed in his election campaign to end veteran homelessness by 2015 but has fallen short of that goal.

The Democrat will argue that the nation made a promise that “can’t be broken” in guaranteeing ex-military members healthcare benefits they earned while serving, and will announce that a half a million veterans have voluntarily given blood samples and other health data for a massive new database on veterans’ healthcare that aims to enroll 1 million people.

Is any of this controversial?

Obama has tried to shift the conversation beyond the scandals over long wait-times for veterans seeking medical treatment that led to the embarrassing ouster of Obama’s Veterans Affairs secretary, retired Gen. Eric Shinseki.

The campaigns of Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are both trying to earn the votes of the nearly 21 million veterans in the U.S., and both candidates have vowed to overhaul the VA.

Georgia’s senior U.S. senator, Johnny Isakson, has been one of the most prominent Republican critics of the Obama administration’s handling of veterans healthcare. The chair of the Senate’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Isakson took part in a question-and-answer session on Sunday at the conference.


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