ATLANTA -- Roy Barnes looked up from his prepared text during a ceremony inside the state Capitol earlier this month and began to repeat the words from memory.
He was swearing in members of the latest task force he had created to look for solutions to a problem facing Georgia, and he had the lengthy oath of office down pat.
"After you do it a few times, you find you know most of it," Barnes said last week, as he neared the end of his first year as governor.
And that's not the only skill in which Barnes has demonstrated mastery in the last 12 months. His supporters, and even some opponents, attribute what turned out to be a hugely successful 1999 for Barnes to his ability to work with varied interests.
The General Assembly enacted the new governor's entire 27-item legislative agenda, including a bill creating a regional transportation authority to come to grips with the Atlanta area's traffic congestion and dirty air and another bill giving managed-care patients more choice of doctors and the right to sue their health plan over medical decisions.
In part, Barnes' good working relationship with lawmakers comes from the fact that he is one of them. He served for 16 years in the state Senate and six more in the House before being elected governor.
But House Minority Whip Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, said the Democratic governor's handling of legislators, including Republicans, also reflects …