Americans mix parades and politics on Labor Day

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

One man who showed up for today's annual Labor Day parade in Toledo, Ohio, says he was there for the bands, the school teams and the hot dogs.

But with a presidential election coming up in two months, politics was a big part of the holiday -- in Toledo and elsewhere.

President Barack Obama spoke to autoworkers in Toledo, and highlighted the auto industry bailout.

Firefighter Terence Glaze waited to catch a glimpse of Obama's motorcade, but his two young sons were eager to get to the movies instead. Glaze said the holiday makes him think about what he said are "the sacrifices unions have made" on wages and safety issues.

Outside the rally, Romney supporter Kenneth Harbin waved Romney signs. Harbin, with the University of Toledo College Republicans, said Obama was just looking for a payback from the unions he had helped.

In Charlotte, N.C., where the Democratic National Convention gets under way tomorrow, more than 300 people marched in the Labor Day parade, which became an overwhelmingly pro-Obama event.

In a small Virginia town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, marchers dodged downpours from the remnants of Hurricane Isaac. The traditional parade featured vintage stock cars -- and both candidates in Virginia's U.S. Senate race. Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen walked the route separately.

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