Then-Sen. Barack Obama drew enthusiastic crowds at a rally in Columbus, Ohio, just days before the 2008 election. Now, after a few rocky moments with the coalition that helped send him to the White House, and with a re-election battle looming, Obama is trying to re-energize his supporters. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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On Feb. 17, 2009, the same day President Obama signed the first economic stimulus bill, Namaste Solar CEO Blake Jones gave Obama and Vice President Biden a tour of the solar panel installation at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. In the 2 1/2 years since, says Jones, the stimulus "did what it was supposed to do" in the solar sector. Still, he has had to lay off some workers. Gerald Herbert/AP hide caption

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Despite the availability of cheap loans, in some places, people are cautious when it comes to buying new cars. Here, workers display a car at a California Hyundai dealership earlier this year. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images hide caption

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President Obama speaks Wednesday at North Carolina State University in Raleigh about the American Jobs Act. Gerry Broome/AP hide caption

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President Obama speaks about his new jobs proposal at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Va., on Friday. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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President Obama unveils his jobs plan on Thursday night. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images hide caption

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Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, shown speaking at an American Legion Post in Nashua, N.H., last month, is campaigning again in the state this week. The Republican White House hopeful so far hasn't run any TV ads in the state. Cheryl Senter/AP hide caption

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Republican presidential hopeful Texas Gov. Rick Perry (left) shakes hands with a supporter as he goes onstage at the Polk County GOP summer picnic event held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines on Saturday. Nati Harnik/AP hide caption

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke walks past reporters as he arrives at the economic policy symposium at Jackson Hole in Moran, Wyo., on Friday. Reed Saxon/AP hide caption

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Investors are closely watching Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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President Obama speaks Monday at the town hall-style meeting at the Lower Hannah's Bend Park in Cannon Falls, Minn. Obama is on a bus tour of Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois where he is scheduled to speak with people about economic issues. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Lori Kamlet looks at posted job opportunities at a Denver employment office last Friday. Ed Andrieski/AP hide caption

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Inflation doesn't account for the fact that when the price of one fruit goes up, consumers often buy another. Changing the way the government measures inflation would be one way to reduce the deficit. iStockphoto hide caption

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