WASHINGTON (CNN) – Spending a rare second day in a row in Washington, Barack Obama is speaking Tuesday with the country’s top two economic officials as well as a visiting prime minister, highlighting his emphasis on the economy and foreign relations that has dominated both presidential campaigns in recent weeks.
Tuesday morning he spoke with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson by phone, and later in the day he will meet with Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke. These talks come on the heels of Obama’s Monday roundtable with almost 20 economic advisors during which he said the country was in an “economic emergency.”
Since arriving back in the country following an eight-day overseas trip that garnered some criticism because of mounting economic issues at home, the Illinois senator has made assurances that his focus going forward to November’s election will be the struggling economy.
Also on the agenda Tuesday is a sit-down with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who met with President Bush on Monday. Obama often talks about the need for a close relationship with Pakistan to better combat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the lawless region along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Obama has criticized the Pakistani government for not doing enough to control the region and said during the primaries that he would authorize U.S. military strikes inside Pakistan if the country declined to act on intelligence about targets.
On Monday’s edition of “The Situation Room,” Gilani told Wolf Blitzer that a recent U.S. attack on an Al Qaeda suspect inside the country was a violation of Pakistani sovereignty. He urged more cooperation and less unilateral action, saying, “Americans are a little impatient.”
Before heading off Tuesday night to campaign in Missouri, Obama will also meet with House Democrats as well as leaders of women’s groups.
Even with all these meetings, there are two hours planned for “private meetings” that the campaign is remaining decidedly mum about.