September 11th, 2008
08:20 PM ET
10 years ago

Live-blogging with The Best Political Team

Weigh in with CNN's analysts and contributors.

Weigh in with CNN's analysts and contributors.

(CNN) –On the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama each take the stage to discuss service and civic engagement in a forum at Columbia University.

What do you think of their ideas? How does the role of service determine what kind of nation we live in? What does national service mean to you?

Along with CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider, CNN Political Analyst Roland Martin, and Republican strategist Bay Buchanan, thousands of you weighed in.

Click "comments" below for a look at the entire conversation.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (4,056 Responses)
  1. bane

    the entire world hates us roland.

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  2. Saad, NJ

    Both cadidates are speaking very nicely regarding our military... but I wish they would for once slip in some text about making teh world rather more peaceful and in hope to reduce teh size of the military versus the need to increase it.

    I know that's wishful thinking but hey... I am asking to slip that only once... afterall, we are the country rest of the looks up to and listens to.... or used to!!!

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  3. Lanre Akinola

    If I have almost $70K from undergraduate and graduate degree. Why in the world would I want to go and join the military when this nation is producing the Forbes richest folks on Wall St. Don't get me wrong, I love this nation, but I found it hard to balance this mental conflict. How do I justify CEO pay package and someone is preaching to me about military or public service. I don't get it.

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  4. Danielle

    JMe: temple – I have an idea about how to help this. If you had the opportunity to be part of an organization where you got to work for the government in the area of you degree but be willing to relocate to an area for a year that is need of the skills you graduated with and in return the government paid your student loan and gave you a modest salary, would you consider doing this?

    What I propose is that, like Americorp, we ask college graduates to give up a year or two to move to New Orleans, or other depressed areas to help rebuild, provide their newly required medical skills, teaching skills, engineering skills, etc in return for the student loans getting wiped clean. Don't put an age limit on this either – I am 30 and I would do it.

    Young individuals living for a year or two in these areas may actually choose to live there for good which increases the level of professionals in the areas and supports the communities.

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  5. Victor


    Your parents' community activities are commendable (as is being mayor of a small town). The problem is, that it doesn't contribute much to a razor thin Presidential resume'. Either Obama in 2008 or Palin in 2010 will be the least qualified president in the lifetime of anyone alive today – by a wide margin.

    – Victor

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  6. Paul Gillham

    Should we offer military benefits to non-military personnel?

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  7. Matt

    Interesting Fabian.....Read about that somewhere before.....Mandatory military, discipline, patriotism, country......can't quite remember what it was called though.......oh yeah, FASCISM

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  8. Girlpower

    Let's quit on which one is greater-EVERY JOB that a person does is important. You forget the real issue here-these candidates are trying to prove themselves for the presidency. Let's not look at the jobs they did, but what they have accomplished with those jobs.

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  9. grace carr

    How can people think any Hillary supporter will go over to the Republican ticket? We women are not "plug compatible"...Palin is different from Hillary in almost every way except biology.
    As a stanch Hillary supporter, I will do whatever I can to make sure that Obama is elected...and, any true Hillary supporter, aware of the issues, must do the same. We are in the middle of an evil war, which McCain thinks he can win...we have deplorable health care for many Americans, and McCain has no answers...we are in a serious economic state, and he wants to continue to spend billions on the war. He is lying about Obama's position on education, lying about Palin's position on earmarks (I believe she kept all or most of the "Bridge to Nowhere money", so much for thanks but no thanks) and he and she will continue to move the Supreme Court to the right, resulting in a rescinding of Roe v Wade...Wake up, America!

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  10. Heather

    Concerned -you hit the nail on the head totlaly.

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  11. Dale in Louisa, KY

    Good point, concerned. One way we can serve right now is to become informed about these two men and their positions on the issues, and vote our consciences. What else is more important?

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  12. Martin Tease

    I think Obama was given better questions and had the opportunity to define himself in a way that McCain was not able to. McCain was good but I think by going second Obama has done very well.

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  13. Beverly

    Roland, do you think Obama is doing a better job engaging the audience than he did at the Saddleback forum? I think so.

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  14. ruth

    I agree with jdfc, the media now, 60 days to election, is been very subtle, shrewd.... they really know how to show people the door with a smile and leave you very, very calm !!!

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  15. from ohio

    well ..we would n't have needed miltary service first place if we aren't that dumb to go to losing wars again and again sacrifing for WHAT??...

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  16. zcaveman

    Government: 1/2 the nations mortages already down the tubes
    Government: If I don't wear my seatbelt I must pay the rich
    Government: If i choose to smoke, I must pay the rich
    Government: SUCKS

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |

    This is our next more
    "Smoke em Out"..."Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran"..."100 yrs in Iraq"

    We need a leader....with brains!!!!

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  18. Joel in CA


    Why not? McCain heard most of the questions Obama got at Rick Warren's forum. The "cone of silence" references we've heard about that interview were especially apt because, as anyone who's seen even one episode of 'Get Smart' could've told you, the Cone of Silence never worked!

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  19. J. McKinon

    I can’t understand the American people on how they think. Is there something in the water? Many of them don’t realize it was the Republicans who have basically ruin this great country. In the past eight years all I’ve seen from the Republicans who had control of the three branches of government is tell one lie after another and made life miserable for everyone. The Republican Party intimidated the media, no one had the guts to stand up to them and say you wrong. Al Gore tried to tell the American people what was going to happen under a Bush government and no one listen. Four year later John Kerry tried to once again tell the American people that Bush is leading the country in the wrong direction. Now it is Obama’s turn. He too is trying to tell the American people we can not afford to have these corrupt people in power. I hope some day the American people would wake up, they must be sleeping through the lies McCain is telling to get elected.

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  20. Hollis

    I like Obama very much, but he is stumbling a bit on the question of military service. Wartime or not, it is a brave choice.

    Just heard the question about service benefits - good one!

    I know what he is trying to say, but to some it might come across as turning the entire country into federal servants.

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  21. kathy

    I was not in the military, but adopted 2 older children to give them a chance and teach my 2 other children, that is type of community service is just as important!

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  22. Matt

    "Obama's answers appear to be far more specific than McCain's."
    Bill Schneider wrote that not five minutes into Obama's speech (9:02). How can anyone make a judgement so soon. This entire process is useless, all the CNN "analysts" have planned out all their talking points regardless of what the candidate says. Stop pretending you are completely objective, come out and be honest. Admit your political bias. CNN should focus on reporting the news and quit this ridiculous partisan spin you all seem to have adopted.

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  23. Khyati Desai

    I apologize for posting again but service is something we get fired up about. Roland, you're so right. I'm not undermining military service in any way but it's really frustrating to hear military service getting so much more respect and admiration than nonprofit service. Like you said, peple who have worked with inner city children who are struggling or people who are risking their lives rescuing women in domestic violence situations or children being trafficked, who themselves are struggling to make ends meet know the meaning of sacrifice. And what they are doing is equally as life saving and freedom fighting.

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  24. Carl

    Complete Government control over a citizens service to the country will hinder Community involvement. Corporations should be afforded tax breaks to support Service to Country and Community...If the Government controls this Service this is a pure form of Federalism..

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  25. Rick in Minnesota

    Service is a focus perspective; if we focus on what we want and what the government can do for me, then we are less apt to be looking to serve others. If however we are focused on our country, state,county,city,neighborhood, etc then we will make choices and actions that are focused on giving and serving...

    September 11, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
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