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. Larry Hines

    What steps are being taken about hate crime laws in indiana, since there isnt none....

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  2. Freda

    Do you plan on making cancer a national priority, if so how will you execute it

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  3. Dr. No

    CNN rarely posts my comments.

    For once, I hope they do.

    I'm a Navy vet. I was a nuclear engineer. I had friends that I grew up with and we all joined the service together. I went to the Navy, my other two close buddies went to the Army. One of those friends died in Iraq in 2007.

    I still can't comprehend it in some ways. I know he died with valor but for all the wrong reasons. I know this because he told me this. He was a good person who loved his country.

    Everyone has a story, but why should mine be different? It probably isn't different to many, but to those who have been affected by the war, and the economy, we want answers to those problems.

    McCain, Obama, CNN...why can't we get answers to our problems? All we get is lipstick junk stories and who smeared who but nothing that is going to bring my other friend home.

    I have followed CNN for some time, quite some time, and they have been leaning toward the right. And I do feel that Obama tries quite hard to talk about the issues. McCain is more involved with the smear tactics and negative ads.

    Is there anyone out there? And if there is, are you listening? Are you listening to us? Do you see that we need help?


    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  4. Bill Schneider

    Overall Obama is presenting more thoughtful, detailed, and innovative ways of service.

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  5. Daniel

    I would support such a tax and I'm a Republican. I would view it as a way for me to contribute.

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  6. David F

    They should ask him about government oversight of those Blackwater contractors etc.

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  7. Tammy

    I wonder what Mr. Obama knows about the military. One of the career areas in the US Army is Civil Affairs. My nephew spent 11 mos in Iraq facilitating agricultural development and economic development. The civil affairs soldiers are taught to work with the local community to find qualified experts. That way there is continuity after the military pull out. This is the way democracy is developed. My other nephew is currently serving in a Civil Affairs unit in Wasit province in Iraq. His unit has worked to establish a court system in that province as well as many economic development projects. He is due home in 2 mos.

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  8. Reagan

    I am still waiting for Obama to answer a question directly rather than ignore it and talk about his naive fantasies.

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  9. Joyce

    Randy Smythe, I somewhat agree. However, idoon't you think that f goverment created the problem, then government needs to fix the problem??

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  10. tickercandy

    I sat through Saddleback too - Obama seems much more at ease here. More direct, less meandering.

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  11. Jessica Mattison

    Senator sounds evasive regarding military he intending or is is considering " re instituting a mandatory military draft ?"

    Plain and simple question that I think he is being dishonest about by being evasive on this issue.

    Is Obama speaking of drafting Americans into forced military service ???


    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  12. Ken

    I agree that all of Palin's credentials make her a great Republican, but what makes her a great Vice-Predsidential Pick?

    It appears that the media is giving her a free ride....if she is so ready to lead then why such limited access...she's one heart beat away....Obama and Clinton were both racked over the coals for the history...but Palin is being treated like her past mistakes and record is not of importance.

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  13. Kevin

    The military card only goes so far. I have done both I am a vet and manage HUD properties where community service programs are required for the residents. Both are challenging but the military is a world all of it's own and outside of it you deal with every day people with no on post housing and a mess hall for chow. They have bills etc militray get housing allowances when they live off post and extra pay for dependents. As for BIG Government why doesn't Obama state the fact that the Democrats are more fiscally conservative by all economic standards?

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  14. Donald Stuckey

    Let's just be honest most people do want to help others, but many people need a little encouragement to do so. I think this is where Obama is coming from, helping students pay for school in exchange for doing National Service is a good way to get that of all in their communities.

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  15. Joec87


    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  16. Teddy

    Roland, you're right....absolutely right

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  17. Cheryl

    One of the military-type benefits that should be offered to American citizens engaged in service overseas is access to the PX, commissary and on-base medical facilities. They should also receive the 5 point preference when applying for federal jobs.

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  18. zcaveman

    What would really change America is if we nationalized ALL insurance, mortage companys, healthcare, utility services, and VOTED on EVERY law !

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  19. A canadian watching

    Just wanted to say that after watching all those news and debates since the begining of this campaing. This one is the most inspiring and civilized.

    Gilles from Montreal

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  20. EJ (USA)

    I'll say this, a doctor who chooses to provide medical care in rural towns where they live too far from a hospital is just as honorable as someone in the military.

    We should respect anyone who makes this decision. Not try to say one is better than the other.

    Amen to that.

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  21. Jake

    I'm with everything Obama just said in that last segment. Politically and factually brilliant!

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  22. gc

    The trickle down Republicans need to demand National Service of the corporations they pour our tax $ into, before they take the national stage and pander to the military they have put into harm's way to continue pouring $ into the coffers of a corupt military-industrial complex that Dwight D Eisenhower warned the US about.

    His daughter sees the truth; obreviously the rest of the republicans who claim to be patriotic do not.

    GC in West TX

    September 11, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  23. Texico From Mexico

    Hey Bill, Cops and Fireman put it on the line also....

    September 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  24. Glen Shouse Jr.

    I think the whole military service, community service thing is petty. The key word here is service. If this country could get more people to serve in any positive way we would be better off, and I would encourage my kids to admire any of them.

    September 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  25. Steve K

    Military pay could be increased with the money saved in cutting out the pork. And still not have to increase taxes.

    September 11, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
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