… was probably JFK, who hailed from Boston and without whom Washington Metro wouldn’t exist, but Barack Obama is contending for the title of the 21st-century Eisenhower and Kennedy in one with his speech on metropolitan policy yesterday:
To seize the possibility of this moment, we need to promote strong cities as the backbone of regional growth. And yet, Washington remains trapped in an earlier era, wedded to an outdated ‘urban’ agenda that focuses exclusively on the problems in our cities, and ignores our growing metro areas; an agenda that confuses anti-poverty policy with a metropolitan strategy, and ends up hurting both.
My take on the same issue from last year. But one quibble: “Washington” is far from trapped in an earlier era; it’s just those feds ensconced in their little suburban bubble over at the corner of North Capitol, East Capitol and South Capitol.
Let’s invest that money [from a National Infrastructure Bank] in a world-class transit system. Let’s re-commit federal dollars to strengthen mass transit and reform our tax code to give folks a reason to take the bus instead of driving to work—because investing in mass transit helps make metro areas more livable and can help our regional economies grow. And while we’re at it, we’ll partner with our mayors to invest in green energy technology and ensure that your buses and buildings are energy efficient. And we’ll also invest in our ports, roads, and high-speed rails—because I don’t want to see the fastest train in the world built halfway around the world in Shanghai, I want to see it built right here in the United States of America.