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. Jake D

    If we can afford a 1 trillion dollar illegal war, I think we can afford health care and education.

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  2. Christy

    There you go Bay, you look good on the defensive. Now get there and stay there republicans.

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  3. Big Ern

    After watching this forum, I have only really learned one thing.... that McCain has stolen several pages from OBAMA's playbook. The sad thing about this is that he is being lauded for saying the same things that OBAMA has been stating now since the beginning of the campaign.

    Also, just one last quick comment..... Sanctions against Russia? Go to Georgia and defend it? Are you serious? Does the Moosehead even know what that would cause?

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  4. sjprugh

    jopat... you are out of your mind. Unclog your ears, will you?

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  5. Cindy

    Roland – You need to take the ONE THING proposal on the road. It has legs. Inspired! Talk about in on the air so more can hear the challenge!

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  6. Jackie

    My two cents worth ... as a Canadian, here's to Obama winning this election and bringing the US back to being the country that is was, but even better. And to CNN reporting more about the issues your country is currently experiencing (eg. your economy), rather than lipstick comments. You all have a great leader within your grasp. They don't come along very often.

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  7. Jessica

    Why won't Obama do town hall meetings with McCain? It places the questions in the voters' hands, instead of 2 or 3 moderators.

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  8. Cynthia Nashville

    See those people (ie Lt Colnel, Sergeant) are just like McCain in that they believe the best if not the only way to serve your country is to join the military. People that share those view are insistent on military service and I feel like they want to impose that view on all Americans. I really feel if McCain is elected it will only be a matter of time before we have a draft no matter what the circumstances. The ultimate sacrifice for some is yes serving in our military as my husband is doing now. However for myself the ultimate sacrifice is running a non-profit organization right out of home practically to help people in my community and eventually throughout our nation.

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  9. Krissy-pooh

    Great Answer

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  10. David

    I would support a tax system that only taxes for needed projects decided by the american people, except for military, highways, and a few others. Let put the others up for a vote. Let's let people opt out of taxes going to things like Abortion Clinics. You can tax the same amount but let us opt out of certian projects. Get rid of the idea of using the tax system to redistribute wealth but give safety nets for people that fall through the cracks.

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  11. Felicia

    I'm not sure why Obama appears to sound "lofty" or "pandering" to some people. Just because he takes the time to understand the question and provide a thoughtful answer, does not mean that he's lofty or pandering. At least he takes the time to understand the question and really think about the best possible outcome BEFORE he says or does something stupid and/or not in the best interests of the country (unlike the last 8 years and the other presidential nominee).

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  12. Judy T

    I'm not sure why Obama said that he would encourage more young people to become educators and then pay back their loans if they teach in the most needed areas. They already do that in most states, maybe all have some type of tuition repayment program. My daughter owed $40,000 and the state we live in paid almost all of her school loans. She did not teach the 5th year to have them completely paid so she did owe $8000. Give us something new. What about all of the other service careers that young people choose such has nursing? Politicians = more of the same.

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  13. Go Buckeyes

    When will Obama say he's a "white" & black candidate?

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  14. Concerned as well

    This Forum is great to hear what both candidates think about service and some other issues. But the sad truth is a lot of the people that vote in November won't vote for one or the other because of the issues. They will vote for McCain or Obama because of what other people tell them to think, or because of stupid chain emails spreading ridiculous rumors and then taking them as fact.

    The truth is no matter what party someone belongs to voters need to RESEARCH the issues and decide who can best lead our country. Not have others think for them and tell them how to vote.

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  15. Aubrey

    Once Sarah Palin is cleared from her own investigation then we can call her a superstar.

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  16. Ed from Tampa

    actually – we can't afford not to have Obama elected.

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  17. Jessy King

    About PTSD, and taking care of those people, how does the future president get the congress to agree to fix the problems

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  18. Charlotte from Michigan

    I think Senator Obama is doing a wonderful job of answering questions. He is right about one thing, if the whole country came together as they did after 911, we could bring back the America we knew before.

    The GOP has broken the back of this country and we need a whole new way of running the country and we need a democrat, my vote will be for Senator Obama.

    I am also so disappointed that the GOP feels that since they put a woman on their ticket, we women will not question her. She needs to be questioned, she needs the same scrutiny as Hillary Clinton. She only has one thing in common with Senator Clinton, she is a female.
    She is too right-wing radical for me.

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  19. Jawinka Smith

    I just scrolled up. My last submitted comment is true. Obama got to hear the questions AND McCain's answers?

    Oh brother! I give up on American politics and fair treatment of candidates in forums and debates.

    Yeah, he'll knock it out of the park, alright. Just like my kids who get a copy of my test before they take it. Shameful.

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  20. Misha

    BK, america is spending ten billion dollars every month in Iraq, of course we have the money. what are u talking about BK

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  21. cg-msp

    I don't think McCain was straight to the point. I would find it refreshing if any of the candidates could just answer without overthinking and strategizing.

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  22. Reagan

    I am getting dizzy from Obama's answers. Is it possible to stay on one point rather than skimming the surface of several general "ideas"?

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  23. Chris Cabcabin

    Palin is a walking, talking, breathing insult to all Hillary supporters.

    But let not make her the main topic because she isn't worth it.

    McCain or should I say McBush has made a mockery of the election ever since he has chosen her. And now McBush is running on a topic of Change????

    ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!! Enough with the past eight years and McBush's 26 years of the same old politics in Washington. We need a new leader with a new vision to take America back from the far right GOP. They have ruined are economy, ruin our countries reputation on the global scale, ruined housing, split us in to red and blue states more so then ever before, have us in a BAD WAR....I can go on and on really. So please America WAKE UP!!! We do not need 4 more years of the same GOP agenda that has ruined our country. Obama and Biden are the leadership our country needs! Free health care! A better Economy with more jobs and better education for our youth!!! Lets rid ourselves of our dependency on oil and be the leader of alternative fuels for the world!!! WE MUST TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK PEOPLE!!! End the RULE of the GOP in the White House and bring back HOPE to the United States of America!!! God Bless!!!

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  24. C from GA

    Can someone tell me what the "Country First{" slogan of the Republicans means – honestly? Is it Country before Family? Country before yourself? Country before your job? Country before Community? And what qualifies as "Country"? National level service? State (governors, etc) Community?

    I honestly can't see how any of the rhetoric here (either side for that matter) is "Country First".


    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  25. Ronald

    The government "in theory" is by the people, for the people...somehow, this has totally been forgotten. Just because someone is elected President, they are still bound to the voice of the people. As far as experience, I want a President flexible enough in their ability to understand the world has changed dramatically in the last 10 years, having 30 plus years experience means absolutely nothing. As an old mainframe programmer of yesteryear, I know "skills" and "experience" can be outdated. I also hear often about the Democrats wanting to increase spending on programs as if this is a bad thing, 10 billion a month could go a long way in this country toward energy independence research, but instead it is being spent on a US military backed Iraqi "freedom". Sorry folks, democracy has to have a separation of church and state to work, the government can't be a certain religion or it's destined to fail.

    September 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
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