The Urban President
What I find most impressive about Barack Obama is his ability to speak about the Bush administration's bungling over the past eight years that so clearly outlines the need for a different approach. As I listened to his speech to the US Conference of Mayors, I found myself shocked -- dumbfounded, even -- to hear a presidential candidate speaking about urban issues in such plain and ambitious terms. That a presidential candidate would talk the talk about metropolitan- and regional-scale economics, mass transit and high-speed rail, and the specific ways that the war in Iraq hurts individual cities and neighborhoods, is almost hard to believe after eight years of secrecy, corporate carte blanche, and a complete lack of focus on anything that actually matters to peoples' day-to-day lives.
"Neglect," Obama quips, "is not a policy for America's metropolitan areas." Word.
If you like the clip above, check out the full video on the US Conference of Mayors website.