According to a recent New York Times poll, the President's approval rating has soared to 57% following the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden. A popular president has a unique opportunity to pursue important issues that will have a long-lasting impact on the nation. The President should use this moment of national unity to address the transportation infrastructure challenges that he laid out in his State of the Union address.
High-speed rail has long been an Obama Administration signature initiative—his Interstate Highway, his Transcontinental Railroad. High-speed rail was meant to be a program that would both transform America, and leave his imprint.
Our founding fathers sparred over the federal interest in funding infrastructure. In fact, the battle over it helped jumpstart partisan rivalry in America. The Federalist Party—created by Alexander Hamilton—supported federal funding and support for “internal improvements,” which we know as infrastructure today. The Democratic Republicans—created by Thomas Jefferson—vehemently disagreed. The nation would have been vastly different, if not for the outcome of these earlier contests.