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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