In her own Special Olympics-like gaffe, the Secretary referred to St. Elizabeths as being in “a very run-down part of the District of Columbia.” Not a Bush league malapropism, but take a cue from Mayor Fenty…it’s “ripe for economic redevelopment.” But Napolitano did reveal news that bodes well for Ward 8. According to the Secretary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is aiming to do the same thing for the surrounding neighborhood that the CIA did for Langley and the Pentagon did for Northern Virginia.
Namely, they'll be focusing attention on areas once thought undesirable or outside of the metro area development bubble. In a response to a question from Blitzer, Napolitano said: “I think when the Pentagon was created there were many of the same arguments were made about being a bad neighbor, not helping the local economy and the like and those have not been borne out.” And who doesn't want to live next to the Pentagon now.
In the course of the interview, Napolitano also stated that, in addition to the $346 million set aside for the DHS relocation Fiscal Year 2009 congressional budget, the project will be receiving funds from the Stimulus Package - making it the first DC area development to get a boost via the controversial bill. Said Napolitano:
This project [will receive] $650 million and it will equate to 33,000 jobs in this area, $1.2 billion immediate stimulus to the local economy and if you look at this area of the District you’d understand that this will be very beneficial to the overall quality of life in this area of this District.Unfortunately, CNN has yet to post video of the interview, which also included a tour of St. Elizabeths landmarks, including future staff offices, including Napolitano’s, and the former cell of poet, and one-time inmate, Ezra Pound. In the meantime, a full transcript is available here.