Obama visits SF, focuses on economy

January 17, 2008 8:26:29 PM PST
With so much negative economic news the past couple of weeks, the economy has now moved to the front burner of just about every presidential campaign.

On Thursday, Senator Barack Obama took time off from campaigning in Nevada for a discussion on the rising cost of living for working class Americans in San Francisco.

Dow Jones Industrials slid 300 points, the market is at it's lowest level in nearly a year, new home construction is down by the biggest amount in three years, and the housing slump has surpassed any downturn that sector has seen in more than a decade. As the presidential candidates campaign, all the talk is about the economy

Senator Barack Obama sat down with four single mothers from the Bay Area and asked them how they able to make ends meet.

Serina Rankin, a paralegal from Oakland told Obama saving is out of the question and she's worried about keeping her house.

"It's very tight, it's very tight," says Rankin.

The Illinois senator outlined a plan to give every working family $1,000 dollars to offset the payroll tax and expand tax credits for child care and home mortgages. He wants to extend the Family Medical Leave Act and provide relief from mortgage foreclosures.

"There's no reason why we can restore more balance to our economy. We can't give more of our families more support that they need," says Obama.

In Los Angeles, Senator Hillary Clinton was in the community of Compton talking about the economy.

"We see so much injustice in today's economy. It is simply not working for so many of our families, especially in our African American families," says Clinton.

John Edwards campaigned in Nevada where voters will caucus this Saturday.

"The question is the passionate voice for those that aren't being heard; the forgotten middle class; the poor; the uninsured. Their voices are the ones being drowned out by this media stampede towards two candidates," says Edwards.

It is a very close three way race among the Democratic candidates in Nevada. A year ago, the war was so far and away the biggest political issue in the country, there really wasn't another issue that even came close.

Tonight, the economy is trumping the war and the presidential candidates, both Democratic and Republican, are reflecting that new reality.

Click on The Back Story to read Mark Matthews' reflection on his encounter with former president Bill Clinton and the Nevada caucus.