September 11th, 2008
08:20 PM ET
6 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. dialuz

    People need a safety net in this country and then we'll all be in better position to serve in many ways. We waste far too much talent when children lack health care, quality education, and the basics to thrive. So, for those of you concerned about the government providing a safety net, do you not understand that it SAVES money in the end and makes our country BETTER!?!

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  2. Oly

    Polls? Are you serious? You can't trust polls – they are anything but unbiased! Have you ever been called by a polster if you didn't live on the NE coast or in FLorda or Ohio. Come on! The military votes for Obama? Ever talk to a soldier son? As k some what they think – you will find a completely different take than what the media is 'revealing'. CNN, NBC, NYTimes – these guys have an agenda that is quite clear. I caught CNN taking their automatic polls OFFLINE twice when McCain was ahead – or not rporting changes for up to 4 days....wake up America – Democrats and Liberals are not your friends – they want more power, more money and more control...

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  3. Becky S.

    Why is Obama so afraid of the hometown forum? Because people would expect a real answer and not his holier than thou double talk. He is afraid of a real debate with John MCCain or Palin for that matter. He might have to actually answer a question and we saw how poorly he did that on Bill OReilly, talk about a stuttering mess!

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  4. jon samuel

    Hey liberal "Freedom Loving Patriot" – PLEASE please keep bringing up qualifications! I beg you liberals to do that. Our VP nominee as Governor trumps your President-wannabe junior Senator who has done nothing but run for Pesident without ANY accomplishments. Obama hasn't run anything except his mouth. Pls keep it up!!

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  5. Jawinka Smith

    I still can't get over the fact that Obama got time to rehearse since he heard McCain's questions and answers...

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  6. Lew

    Obama is on point on the number of Americans participating in this election.

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  7. Anne Hamil

    This Russia as "emerging threat" garbage was so planned to create the illusion of Palin having some sort of foreign policy insight. Insight because Alaska is near Russia. Ask her how much she knows about Canada! Alaska actually shares a border with the place!

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  8. Cam

    Bill, when he said that I thought of Clinton playing the saxophone!

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  9. Red State Tex

    His Obama ever seen a government program he didn't like?

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  10. Bev

    To the vets:

    I'm a veteran of North Georgia College in Dahlonega, GA, but I graduated before they would even allow women to officially take military courses. I did, without credit, and have been a dove ever since.

    My father fought in WWII and Korea. I lost 7 people in 'Nam, including a fiance.

    I respect you without question. And I do not belittle the service you have been to our country. But military service is simply not BETTER than any other type of service.

    The *Presidency* is the highest service one can give one's country. And you don't have to have military experience to BE President (e.g., Lincoln, FDR, Reagan, Clinton, Bush – which doesn't count since he never left the State of Texas).

    As for other high service callings, where would be we without Harriett Tubman? Dr. King? President Lincoln?

    Please, try to set aside your warrior natures and simply listen, as objectively as possible.

    I love you all. But I probably wouldn't sleep with you. In college, maybe, but you'd have had to have been an Army Ranger (!)

    (Sorry. Had to inject from reverse sexism in there.)

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  11. sjprugh

    Roland the McCaint campaign is causing this ridiculous race to date. They are all about distraction and misdirection, not Obama.

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  12. Typical White Person

    So why don't they ask Obama why he totally avoids unscripted town hall meetings on the same stage as McCain??

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  13. KAREN

    MR MARTIN,IF IT IS RACISM FOR 10% OF WHITES TO NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA BECAUSE HE IS BLACK, IS IT NOT RACISM FOR 95% OF BLACKS TO VOTE FOR HIM BECAUSE HE IS BLACK. NO OTHER DEMOGRAPHIC GROUP VOTES IN SUCH A MONOLITHIC PATTERN. PLEASE GIVE A STAIGHT NO SPIN ANSWER,ieYESOR NO.

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  14. Tony - Boston

    How does the parks system, the highway system relate to service? The Highway Act was a Republican initiative under Eisenhower and the Parks Service was an initiative under Teddy Roosevelt, another Republican. He should have talked about some of the Great Society programs or the or Great Depression programs which brought Americans together.

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  15. Wesley

    I'm loving all of these "superstar" Sarah Palin comments.

    Superstar=Celebrity.

    All of the Republicans gobbling up the very traits they condemned Obama for....your hypocrisy is beautiful.

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  16. mark

    Yes, Bill- community organizers are left wing. I work with them everyday. You pundits are out of reality. Get in the real world and see that most of these things have a nice sound to them, but have zero impact.

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  17. P

    I wonder how many people will show up at McCains rallies when Palin is not there, lets see how embarresing it will be for McCain whne she has her own rally and 20k or 30k people show up and he has only 2 or 3 hundred people that he had to bus in to his rallies. And why is that McCain harledy evers take wide shots or far away shots of his rallies to make it seem as if there are more peole these by keeping the camera very close to the stage?

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  18. Amy, PA

    David – I disagree. I think McCain is less genuine then Obama. Who's record is more consistent? In the past 8 years McCain has completely changed who he was. He's just been around longer to have perfected the perfect political persona. Obama is being genuine to himself, and that often gets used against him.

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  19. wayne

    RE: The forum...
    is maccain serious about his policy involving community service volunteers?
    aren't these the same community organisers that Palin was ragging on during her VP nomination acceptance speech?

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  20. Jessy King

    those comments make Democrats WEAK

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  21. Iowa grant

    My 2 cents on community service and the military:

    the main problem I had with the RNC's message of small town values vs big city elitists is that our communities are more intertwined than ever. There is bound to be a wal-mart in a small town, which puts globalism and sweat shop issues right there. Big cities are full of people from small towns.

    In Iraq, when a small town kid and an inner city youth are in the thick of things together, don't they bleed the same American blood?

    That cultural division that the community organizer is somehow 'less than' seems out of place.

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  22. Paris

    Then why did Obama said he would reduce the size of the military during the primary?

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  23. Connie

    They keep talking about Washington needs to change, ARE THEY NOT in Washington already? I do notice that Obama never answers the questions, he talks around them. Any reason for that?

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  24. Dale in Louisa, KY

    I agree , Roland. This is the way we should approach politics all year long. I mute the negative ads, and would love to see the moderators hold them to only ads about what each would do, not negative personal attacks.

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  25. TLeigh

    Generally speaking:

    I am glad Palin is on the ticket for VP basically because HIllary should have been on it. I think both females are strong, gutsy and needed somewhere in the whitehouse other than just standing there and waving. I wish the media would quit picking on Palin and get past the "fresh meat" syndrome. Lets concentrate on what is good for America.

    When it comes to Obama and McCain – First they can't promise anything because it has to go through Congress, so it is very foolish to promise anything...I get that. I don't really care who served and who didn't....I am eternally grateful for our soldiers and appreciate the freedon that they provide.....that said it should not be the deciding factor here. As an American I want to know who has it on their agenda to tackle; Healthcare; Job stability in the US; Decreasing our deficit; and who is willing to work with other countries and concentrate on peace and stop threatening war at every turn. I am sick of the US being viewed as the big bully. We represent Freedom and Prosperity. Interesting our jobs are going to the Middle East ...the same place the terrorists came from and have tested our Freedom as a country.

    September 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
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