Who cares what Harper said in an interview when he was 16 or 17? He's a kid and he's going to say stupid things. He might want to play for the Yankees in ten years... or he might end up hating the east coast and want to go back west... or he might build personal relationships here that trump childhood dreams.
Remember this: This town loves a winner. They fell in love with the Redskins in the George Allen years, and they've fallen in love with the Caps recently. You think there are kids in the Caps' system who used to really want to get the hell out and play for the Red Wings, Devils, Penguins, or one of the Canadian teams? Damn skippy. You think some of them have changed their mind since then and want to be a part of the Caps for a long time now? I'd bet on that too.
The Nats are a team without glamor and tradition as of now. If something gets started up here with Stras, Storen, Zimmerman(n), Harper, and Norris, you can bet that D.C. is going to have a lot more allure as a baseball destination.