Editor's note: Trail Running will be the source for field updates from CNN's anchors, correspondents and producers spread out across the country covering politics on the campaign trail. As always, the CNN Political Ticker is your source for up-to-the-minute political news – now even more so.
6:32 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Good union turnout for the Labor Day parade in Pittsburgh. Traditional campaign kickoff – and this week the AFL-CIO kicks its voter contact/turnout operation into gear.
Jack Shea, the veteran Allegheny County Labor Council president, says he knows it's a tough year and many conservative union workers probably thinking of voting GOP. But he says they will get between eight and 12 contacts over next eight weeks – phone calls, work site visits etc. – and he predicts when they hear the "full story" turnout will be strong and vote strongly Democratic.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (CNN) - When President Barack Obama rolled out a $50 billion six-year infrastructure proposal Monday, thousands who gathered in Milwaukee were eager to hear his message.
Among them was Henry Haggler. He's worked at a Harley-Davidson plant in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, for almost 16 years.
Haggler has seen cutbacks and layoffs, and now worries about how much more the company will ask his United Steelworkers Union to give up. "We're trying to negotiate a new contract, and their thing is they're trying to whipsaw us," he said, adding "we have a lot of hard working union people, and they're Americans, OK, and we sacrificed a lot."
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (CNN) - President Barack Obama unveiled on Monday a $50 billion plan to renew the country's transportation infrastructure, create jobs and spark economic growth.
His address is the first of two speeches the president plans to make this week in an attempt to frame his administration's response to the recession, less than two months ahead of midterm elections where Democratic majorities in the House and Senate are in jeopardy.
"Today, I am announcing a new plan for rebuilding and modernizing America's roads, and rails and runways for the long term," said Obama, who spoke on Labor Day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - a state that has extremely competitive gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races. "I want America to have the best infrastructure in the world."
(CNN) – Those following President Obama's prepared remarks during a speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Monday were thrown a bit of a curveball when it came to a description of his critics:
"Some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for a very long time and they're not always happy with me. They talk about me like a dog. That's not in my prepared remarks, but it's true," he told a crowd largely consisting of union members.
The line was a rare departure from a president who normally sticks close to the text of his speech and may forecast a more aggressive tone on the part of Obama as the midterms approach.
The address is the first of two speeches this week in which Obama will try and frame his administration's response to the recession, less than two months ahead of midterm elections where Democratic majorities in the House and Senate are on the ropes.
Related: Reaction to Obama's Labor Day speech
Bristol, Pennsylvania (CNN) - 1518 votes. That's all that Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy won his suburban Philadelphia seat by the last time he faced Republican Mike Fitzpatrick, and that was back in 2006, when anti-war sentiment was sweeping Democrats into office, and Murphy was running as a disillusioned Iraq war veteran.
Now, Murphy is the incumbent Democrat running in a decidedly different atmosphere. The ailing economy is driving voters, and he is part of the party in power they're mad at.
"Well it's a tough environment. People are hurting out there," Murphy told us in his campaign headquarters, "people are looking for work, the Bush administration and Mike Fitzpatrick ran it into a ditch and we're trying to grow jobs."
(CNN) - And they're off! Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer and the beginning of the campaign season.
With less than two months until Election Day, candidates are packing their schedules with campaign events designed to convince voters that they're the best ones for the job.
All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are on the line this fall, and 37 of the 100 Senate seats are up for grabs.
Capitol Hill is guaranteed to see some fresh faces, with dozens of lawmakers retiring or seeking other office, and a handful - including Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan and Republican Rep. Bob Inglis - coming up short in their renomination bids.
Washington (CNN) - Top Democratic and Republican leadership aides on Capitol Hill say President Barack Obama's two new economic proposals have virtually no chance of passing Congress before the midterm elections, even before he has formally announced them.
Obama is expected to unveil a plan Monday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to push at least $50 billion into infrastructure spending. In Cleveland, Ohio, on Wednesday, he will tout the increase and extension of a business tax credit for research and development. The White House says both proposals will be paid for, in part, by closing tax loopholes for oil and gas companies.
Doubtful that either will pass in the near future, Democrats and Republicans are blaming each other.
"After failing to deliver on their economic promises for more than 18 months, the administration wants to do it again - this time with higher taxes to pay for even more new spending," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said in a written statement Monday.
Editor's note: Trail Running will be the source for field updates from CNN's anchors, correspondents and producers spread out across the country covering politics on the campaign trail. As always, the CNN Political Ticker is your source for up-to-the-minute political news– now even more so.
1247 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Walked some of the Labor Day parade with Congressman Joe Sestak, the Democratic Senate nominee. He acknowledges he's down "single digits" against Republican opponent Pat Toomey but says he's confident he can win. Says his key is proving he is "an independent voice who happens to believe in Democratic principles." Whatever you think of his politics, he's an energetic campaigner - running from side to side to glad hand during the parade.