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Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Sen. Barack Obama Campaigns in Roanoke, Va.

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Friday, October 17, 2008; 2:58 PM

SPEAKER: SEN. BARACK OBAMA, D-ILL.

[*] OBAMA: We meet at a moment of great uncertainty for America. The economic crisis we face is the worst since the Great Depression. As the stock market has plummeted, millions of Americans have opened up their 401(k) statements to see that so much of their hard-earned savings have disappeared.

The credit crisis has left businesses large and small unable to get loans, which means they can't buy new equipment, or hire new workers, or even make payroll for the workers they have. In households across the country, it's getting harder and harder to get a loan for that new car or that startup-business or that college you've dreamed of attending. Wages are lower than they've been in nearly a decade. You're paying more for everything from gas to groceries, but your paychecks have flat-lined.

I know these are difficult times. I know folks are worried. But I believe that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis because I believe in this country. Because this is the United States of America. This is a nation that has faced down war and depression; great challenges and great threats. The American story has never been about things coming easy -- it's been about rising to the moment when the moment is hard.

America can meet this moment. We have the most talented, most productive workers of any country on Earth. We're home to innovation and technology, colleges and universities that are the envy of the world. Some of the biggest ideas in history have come from our small businesses and research facilities. It won't be easy, but there's no reason we can't make this century another American century.

But Virginia, I also know this. It will take a new direction. It will take new leadership in Washington. It will take a real change in the policies and politics of the last eight years. And that's why I'm running for President of the United States of America.


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