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. sa

    i am not sure why some Americans perceive community service as some elitist idea or obama as not genuine. Are small towns that suspicious of the rest of the country. You can't monopolize what it means to be an American.

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  2. BK

    Did Obama request that him and McCain not be on stage together? I think Obama is scared of McCain.

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  3. Wendy in NC

    Sen. Obama has such a global view on everything, his intelligence just amazes me and I am inspired just listening to him. I was a Paramedic and EMS professional for 31 years, about 1/3 of that was as a volunteer and I finally hear a candidate acknowledge that as service to my country. Thank you, Sen. Obama.

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  4. Carl

    How many times has Obama visited Iraq? Words, Words, How is the main question?

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  5. Jim

    This forum makes it clear, that if Obama had accepted McCain's invitation to do joint town-hall appearances, we would have had a more positive and more constructive presidential campaign.

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  6. Loyal American123

    How may of you would like to have yopur share of the Social Security Trust fund invested in Fannie Mae, Lehman, Bear Stearns etc as President Bush promised you was best for your retirement?

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  7. thad

    How can we put a man into office with no experience? If you look at a real job interview, who would you want? Look at the resume's.
    Not even a contest.
    we need a real person in office. WE NEED PALIN!!!

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  8. Snow97

    Two teensy points:

    (1) Just because anyone CAN be President as a matter of federal constitutional theory doesn't mean that any one SHOULD be President as a matter of national interest. If you are ill-informed about the nuances in policy affecting our national security, international obligations, and domestic financial condition, you should reconsider running for office - for the sake of your country, which deserves the best brains for the job.

    (2) It IS harder than rocket science. I'm so tired of hearing anti-intellectualism bandied about as if it were an all-sufficient virtue. There's a difference between what is NECESSARY to being elected (i.e., being a person the ave voter wants to have a beer with) and what is SUFFICIENT (i.e., having the judgment to weigh options, having the background to make decisions based upon some iota of personal knowledge).

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  9. Jim

    Bay- I agree... Tonight really isn't anything new and won't change a vote... actually the monerator's seem bored (Judy looking away)...

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  10. Brandon_MI

    I agree with Barbara, Roland, and Julius. Some of you are confusing throughtfulness with "long and winding" or somehow being less "genuine" than McCain. Your partisanship is showing. Obama is doing great tonight.

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  11. Jenny in CA

    Obama just sounds much more in tuned with EVERYONE is America and he is more understanding. McCain is still learning the Internet...like that commerical (I just discovered the Internet)

    McCain is all about Military & thinks the private sector will step in and do it all in place of Government...Please..spare me

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  12. Mark

    So...is anyone going to ask Senator Obama if he heard the questions posed to Senator McCain beforehand? Are you not wanting to 'rock' the boat with someone you are backing? Simple question that can illucidate the voters about someone's character.

    As Roland noted...it appears that Senator Obama 'watched the tape"

    C'mon...ask the question!

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  13. EJ (USA)

    I liked Obama's line about how paying attention is a big part of citizenship. Not enough people even pay attention.

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  14. Rob

    Sorry but Obama can unite the country and McCain cannot. Oh here is a question referring to Palin. Obama should stay away from that subject. I cannot understand why the R's don't speak the truth on her. She is not qualified. Period!!! It was clearly a political pick and it will put the country in grave danger. The Republican ticket are not Mavericks they are Storytellers. Stories about how they run a clean campaign, stories about how they will clean-up Washington when they have been the party responsible for the divide in this country. Oh the hyprocisy.......I loved Jon Stewart's show showing the hyprocisy of the R's with Rove, O'Rielly.

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  15. Mshauri

    lol. wow.. to think that someone actually believes that McCain is more genuine than Obama... Now, thats a scary thought!!!

    Go Obama

    An Engineer from
    California

    September 11, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  16. Joe

    Bay, would you ever admit when Obama does or says something good? :-)

    September 11, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  17. Sarahkatheryn

    "we sell too many of our citizens short... they want to be involved"

    actually true – today's 18-29 year olds are more active in volunteerism than any other generation.

    September 11, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  18. Ben K

    Folks, this is why we like Roland. His bias may be obvious, but he unlike many on the left and the right, he'll call out his candidate.

    September 11, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  19. Kevin

    Roland, as usual you are on point.

    September 11, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  20. Kap

    ROLAND I agree with you that all types of service are righteous and that we shouldent get into a comparison game..that being said dont you amdit that there is something very special about doing service in the millitary esppecially these those men and women and putting thier lives at risk for the ENTIRE country.

    September 11, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  21. Lori

    McCain wins this forum hands down. Did Obama answer any of the questions decisively? McCain emphasized that he did not want to make a bigger government with service oriented careers. Obama wants to clean up Washington and make government bigger?

    September 11, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  22. Andrew

    This double talk is dizzying in the fact that he keeps saying all the answers will come from Washington but if you really want it fixed act locally? Sounds like more broken programs that fix nothing to come and we are on our own.

    September 11, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  23. Vets for Obama

    I guess I need to o over to FOX they seem to be more balanced these days

    September 11, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  24. michael

    Roland...if they commited to a civil "Issue" only campaign then neither of them would win...Ralph Nader would. Elections stopped being about issues many years ago. Now its about who can get more popular and get more press coverage. Obama won more press that Hillary and now Palin is getting more press than Obama.

    September 11, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  25. Onyeka

    Come on David! When Obama speaks, everyone want to stop and listen. I feel that Obama does speaks from the heart and is genuine.

    This man is focus today, he came with a plan and McCain came with jokes.

    September 11, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
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