He's not quite EF Hutton, but you have to admit when he talks, people do listen.
That's what happened today in Palo Alto, when U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said told a group that he supports California's high-speed rail project. He says it gets his vote because it will create jobs for residents, especially construction workers.
"It has the benefit of getting some of the people hardest hit by the recession, people manufacturing autos and construction, back to employment," Geithner said.
The project has been controversial on the Peninsula, where high-speed trains will travel along Caltrain right-of-way.
The cost has been estimated at more than $40 billion, but Geithner said that will likely be money well spent.
"Investment in public infrastructure, in transportation, is a very good investment," he said.
Geithner spoke to more than 70 Bay Area residents this afternoon at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center at 3921 Fabian Way.
He emphasized that the nation's economy is improving, albeit slowly, and discussed challenges in the construction and manufacturing industries.
He said people are exaggerating if they say the nation's manufacturing industry is broken.
"I think this concern that we are going to lose the ability to make things in this country is overstated," he said.
Geithner also discussed inflation, the value of the U.S. dollar to international markets, and economic meltdowns in other countries.
The event was hosted by the Commonwealth Club.