Stars of Obama's Presidential Campaign Ad Battered By Economy

Obama's "American Stories": Families profiled in campaign ad struggling six months later.

As Election Day neared last fall, the Obama campaign went big with a 30-minute television ad that profiled four American families struggling to keep afloat in a worsening economy. Between each of the "American Stories," as Obama called them, the video showed the candidate on the hustings, promising "a rescue plan for the middle class."

Four months into Obama's presidency, only one of those folks has seen anything resembling a rescue -- and it wasn't because of any government program. After the ad aired, a mysterious angel donor helped cover the costs of surgery and copayments for the Ohio retiree who suffered from crippling rheumatoid arthritis in her right hand.

But not much has changed for the New Mexico educator. And the Ford employee in Kentucky has been anxiously watching the administration as it guides General Motors into bankruptcy, a process with ripple effects that could cost him his job. Things are bad enough for the fourth person featured, Rebecca Johnston, a 34-year-old mother of four in Missouri, that she has come up with a rescue plan of her own.

Obama said in the ad, Johnston is "all about her family." That's why next week she'll be joining the Army Reserves.

"My kids' ages range between 15 to 3. At this point I look at it like I can't contribute anything to their college, I can barely make their health care costs, we're just skimming by paycheck to paycheck," Johnston told the Huffington Post.