He came in at a time that was pretty devastating-700,000 jobs were lost in a month, bank credit was locked up, GM and the Auto Companies were teetering. People were terrified, suicidal (I remember hearing stories of people pushed to the wall by the recession and killing themselves. There were record foreclosures, and for more than a minute it looked like the Great Recession would become the Second Great Depression. What America needed and got, was a Stimulus Package and bailouts.
America needed hope, and he gave it. He and Biden worked hard to keep America from sliding under the waves that year.