(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.
I find it interesting that so many sit at their computers and freely make comments as to how our military is not "the most important" when, in fact, our freedom to do just that is what they are the front lines protecting. How easily we relish in our freedoms and forget where they came from...
Hey why you guys and Mccain and his camp are talking about Miltary record and Obama's community service.
Can Mccain and his camp and you talk about a solid answers for the present situation that the country facing.
4. Mortgage crisis
5. gas prices.
Bay – you are so wrong – It jsut changed mine!
The rich will not like to afford Obama but they have had a free ride for eight years now its time to pay up .
People are getting confused because they're not used to listening to a politician give ACTUAL answers with some real substance to them. We're used to listening to silly soundbites and catchphrases that we've lost the ability to sort through someone's words and interpret them into a way where we can understand.
Maybe if we listened more, it wouldn't be as hard.
I want to see Obama get hammered on education. In Illinois, we have just about the worst, if not the worst, education system in the country. Also, hammer Obama on the total corruption in the Illinois Democratic Machine of which he is a part of. Illinois is almost in economic collapse as well. We have not heard one word from our absentee senator (for approx. 75% of his term) regarding any of this. He also has accomplished nothing as a state legislator or senator of Illinois. Sorry, community organizer definitely does not cut it.
So let me get this straight. McCain goes to Pennsylvania to be with the families of Flight 93 and Obama goes to be with Bill Clinton. This guy just doesn't get it. He can't take one day off to do the right thing.
I agree Roland – I'm in NC and the Rep. ads here are disgusting. Helping Obama tho. HA
Are people really fooled by the GOP's distracting attacks and propaganda? All because they have no good policy positions to discuss? The polls seem to indicate they are.
McCain had some nerve promoting an honorable campaign tonight when his has been downright dishonorable. Obama has been trying to talk about issues while McCain has been trying to cut him down.
Palin is a joke. GOP is incredibly selfish to pick her for political gimmick, especially given McCain's age and health. They're not letting her talk to the media and citizens to avoid her gaffes (already – taxpayers support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Georgia and Ukraine in NATO). And this woman is ready to be President????
they are both genuine David, it comes down who is actually going to do something about it and who actually has a plan, as far as I know and other people agree....Obama is far more specific than McCain.
Guess they don't have your Genius...ROLAND.
Obama speaks in specifics. I love the story he's just told about the vet in Montana whose brother committed suicide. I'm a Southern middle-aged white woman who's voted Republican for 20 years, but Obama is getting my vote this year. He won me over with this brilliant and poignant speech in Philadelphia on race a while back. "Lofty" will be a wonderful change after George Bush, who I voted for twice.
I have two teen age children. The two of them have been very involved with community service to the elderly. When they receive a grade for participation the attitude is not nearly as endearing as when they volunteer with no reward. Service should not be done for recognition, but out of being genuinely kind and courteous. Whatever happened to "Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you". America cannot forget the Golden Rule...It starts in the home not at an organization....
I am not sold on Obama , but I do agree with him that "leaders" in our government should encourage the people of this country to be inspired- to give what and when you can and to make sacrifices. Sadly, government ,in the past eight years especially, has done nothing to inspire us- jobs going overseas, wages down and prices up, horrible housing market, inflation, high unemployment and underemployment, failures in Iraq, failures in the real terror war in Afganistan, CEO 's pocketing millions while companies go under or have to be bailed out, corruption, GITMO, etc etc, etc..........
I just don't want anything remotely close to Bush and Cheney. This country can't take much more. I do worry that Obama is too far to the left and McCain is just another Bush... too far to the right.
Palin did go too far in downing a "Community Organizer". Her resume is just as thin as his is!!!!! Palin is just another Dick Cheney with lipstick!!! (Sorry, couldn't resist another lipstick comment)
People: How can anyone really argue the difference between these two candidates? All due respect Sen.McCain, Sen.Obama is polished, intelligent, diverse, and well-informed on all of the issues – he needs to be the one leading our country starting in November – how can some of you see it any other way?
I like Obama's $4000 tax credit for 100 hrs. community service proposal.
Why is obama talking about increasing our military when its already in process. Im a recruiter ,and the Marine Corps is in the works now to increase from 175,000 to 220,000 to reduce our rotation cylces on our marines. Why is it hes trying to claim the kudos for action already being conducted and why is it he has a you tube video talking about reducing our nuclear forces and military. WHATS THE TRUTH.????
Well, David, I think the point Roland is making is that the roles were reversed at Saddleback... McCain told the story there and did well. Obama is telling a story now and doing well... That's all.
Great website. The truth behind the absurd ads put out by both sides, though I would highlight the prevelance of McCain ads...
Jopat you say Sarah Palin is a super star? Thought she was a hockey Mom,
We don't need a superstar in the White House, we need a strong President
Bay, you had better hope this forum changes a vote otherwise your guy is going to be a Senator for a very long time....
Here's what strikes me so far: McCain gave answers that were direct and concise, sometimes simply answering "yes". He also stuck to the forum's theme of volunteerism. Obama, by contrast, is giving long, sometimes convoluted answers that stray away from the original question. He also seems to be using this forum as an opportunity to campaign. He almost seems to be stumping. He was asked a question about volunteering after 9/11 and went off on some tangent about his energy policy. Huh? Incidentally, it's interesting that both McCain and Obama were asked about Gov. Palin's perceived belittlement of Obama's stint as a community organizer, yet neither were asked about the Obama campaign's perceived belittlement of Gov. Palin's stint as a small town mayor – which instigated the whole matter. Interesting.
How can you measure how genuine someone is. Your comment was not genuine. Was it?
Obama wants to make government 'COOL' again.
Spoken like a true Democrat!