Obama might see two Republicans in Nashville visit — Haslam and DesJarlais

President Obama may see a couple of Republicans in his visit to Nashville’s McGavock High School for a speech on education Thursday, reports the Tennessean.

Of the state’s 11 members of Congress, only two would commit Monday to being at the speech — U.S. Reps. Jim Cooper of Nashville and Steve Cohen of Memphis. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean also plans to accompany the president throughout his visit to the city. All three are Democrats.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam plans to greet the president at the airport, but whether he will see Obama elsewhere depends on scheduling, a spokesman said.

…Republican members of the House of Representatives have a ready-made excuse. Obama’s visit happens to coincide with a long-planned caucus retreat in Chesapeake, Md. Several said through their offices that they are committed to being there.

One Republican, however, might make it to Nashville. U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais had already planned to skip the GOP retreat to attend to official business in Murfreesboro. He may be able to fit the presidential visit in, spokesman Robert Jameson said.

“I think the congressman feels he has a responsibility to his constituents to provide a conservative counterpoint to what the president is going to say,” Jameson said. “His constituents expect him to be a voice of opposition.”

In a Washington divided sharply along political lines, that may be the only Republican voice Obama hears.