(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.
Remember, Martin Lither King was a community organizer, the rights for women to vote was started with community organizers and remember the United States was started by a group of community organizers.
Obama is doing very well. Lot's of policy specifics as well as the larger "vision."
I LOVE it that Barack listens to the questions and answers them, not just spouting a stump speech. I respect this man SO much. He will get my vote even though the demographic folks tell me I'm not supposed to be on his side since I am a 63 year old white evangelical voter.
I believe Obama. I do not believe McCain. How could I when he has not only run a campaign totally opposite to what he promised, but stolen all of the themes from Obama for which he once mocked him. Does he think we the electorate are so ignorant that we can't see through this?
Obama is doing great tonight! His answers are very consistent and thoughtful.
Roland, do you think Obama just made a mistake by giving mayors that much credit with Sarah Palin as a former mayor?
PLEASE POST THIS!
Obama is doing great....and he's so more specific than McCain. Obama has a clear vision.
You are correct BK he has no clue what it will cost to do what he has told everyone he wants to do. He needs to take time off and get a real job and pay bills like the rest of us. Learn to budget.
When will the media begin to outline the issues, rather than getting caught up in the "star of the hour" and all of the other related nonsense? All I have heard about is Palin for the last two weeks, without any regard or questions concerning the issues that matter most to me as a voter: the economy, education, our crumbling infrastructure, energy, and the ongoing wars. Come on. I'm not trying to "media-bash"- but I don't want to hear a year from now about how our economy is still stuck in reverse and McCain/Palin have no idea how to proceed. Let's be a little more analytic upfront, folks, while your vote still counts.
How about this to all of my anti-tax friends (yea, you, Grover Norquist):
If we care about the military so much, would you support a specific tax that would go only to the members of the military that would significantly raise their pay and benefits?
There are plenty of programs that are not working that would more than cover this cost without adding more taxes.
Bill, what's wrong with the government being "cool" again? I know when I was 13-14 working with the summer youth employment program he in DC (back when there was funding for it), I worked with the government, and I did feel it was a cool place to work. If there was more positive outlook on what the government has to offer, maybe there wouldn't be so many that are leary and suspicious of the government.
I would like to point out that Obama's big sell idea regarding seniors volunteering at schools is already going on. My 12 year old in a very blue collar rural school has met people such as Neil Armstrong,retired and active politicians, professional athletes, Chess champions etc.
I am hearing nothing other than America needs around 900 trillion dollars to support these programs he is throwing up there? Can he make it rain gum drops too?
Why is John McCain hiding behind Sarah Palin's skirt, Sarah has 5 kids of her own she doesn't need another child.
I thought John McCain was looking for a VP, now it turns out that he was really looking for a new mommy.
All of these opportunities exist already. Forced volunteerism in schools and calling it "community service" is ridiculous. Present the opportunities and let people decide what they want to do.
McCain and his party are pure evil. All you have to do to know this to be true is listen to the evil spirited words that come out of their mouths. They talk about crusing evil, and refuse to "stand up" to those that speak hate and practice racism.
Sarah is a joke. Sure she energized the party, they were starving, starving people eat anything. They have no standards, they will fall for anything. "The proof is in the pudding". She has neither said or done anything to qualify her as VP, and McCain has clearly shown bad judgement in picking her. In addition, the hyporocracy – wanting to draw the crowds he critized Barack for. +
cCain is old, tired, ub-educated, and part of the past. He has gotten this far on luck.
We need a president that is part of the future. One that is computer literate. One that is liked around the world, and can restore America to its mountain top.
I personally believe Obama and McCain are sincere candidates. I also sincerely believe that Obama is the man whom we need as President bc he realizes the changes and programs needed to really help Americans function and be productive...not a three hundred dollar refund. What does that really do for us in the long run?
Obama is wonderful with the specifics tonight!
Roland/Bay – What do each of you think of his defense and critique of the Republicans Convention's belittling of community organizers?
My father always told me: "In the last days, men will become so wise in their own eyes, they will become as fools". Mr. Obama, you are that man.
Roland: LOL @ your Hillary comment~your being messy now!
I think what you're trying to articulate is Obama is reflective and thoughtful. McCain is spontaneous and rash at times.
I'm so sick of fellow Americans hating a person because they are SMART AND NUANCED!
Obama was president of the Harvard Law review...DON'T HATE HIM FOR IT.
This is like high school all over again...Nerds vs. Jocks, blah, blah, blah...
I think John McCain better watch his back, today she told Charlie Gibson in an interview she is ready to be President. This chick is a by any means necessary. She power hungyr and is going to disrupt his bid for the Whie House
It's true! The Obama Campaign does work us like dogs! But it's extremely empowering work and frankly I enjoy being pushed out of my comfort zone to do what I believe is right.
Obama can Talk the Talk, but Sarah Plain WALK'S the WALK.
Bay Buchana- I agree completely. This forum almost seems like a waste of time- just the candidates rehashing their obvious support for American patriotism on the commemoration of 9/11.
As for which of the two candidates is the better possible president, the choice is clear; John McCain. His experience, realistic view of the problems facing the country, and his realistic answers are far superior to those of Barack Obama, who answers to what he thinks the populace wants, and knows doesn't need. McCain's plans for the economy, education, healthcare system, foreign relations, and a new reformed maverick government are what the country needs. And don't get me started on the energy crisis Obama plans on 'solving' by taxing the oil companies, which, must I remind the economically blind democrats, has been PROVEN to fail! I wish people would see beyond the obvious and look at what will work.
I hope that you post my comment, please. I have been asking myself how can these campaigns spend so much money in negativism and not in services? I'm idealistic. I believe that in setting the example and let it speak by itself.
i noticed BAy does not have much to say anymore whats wrong Bay ? Still picking your mouth up off the ground. We know he did EXCELLENT!! Its okay to admit it. Democrats don't hold grudges we might even be able to use your help when your ready to come to the good team.