Standing in the aisles of a North Carolina supermarket, President Barack Obama made his pitch Wednesday: "We have stopped the free-fall. The market's up and the financial system is no longer on the verge of collapse," the president said. "So there's no doubt that things have gotten better." Telling the Raleigh audience that he inherited "the worst economy of our lifetimes," Obama defended the bailout of the banks as a necessary measure to hold off greater financial trouble. Numbers released by the Federal Reserve seemed to support the president's view, showing the conditions in 12 different regions of the country were stabilizing. The report suggests that the end of recession, which began in December 2007, may be in sight.