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. Russ

    Where's Obama going with the service speech?? He got paid as a community organizer right?? How is that service??

    September 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. Beverly Combs

    How can it be that the chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County, Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP's effort to challenge some voters on Election Day. "We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren't voting from those addresses," party Chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. –per Citizens For Legitimate Government, article by Eartha Jane Melzer on Sept. 10, 2008, Michigan Republicans plan to foreclose African-American voters. Lose your house, lose your vote.

    September 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  3. STB

    jopat and others-

    I happen to be one of those that gets scared by short succinct questions to complex issues. It means the politician doesn't understand the complexities or doesn't think that I could. Either should scare people.

    I am consistently impressed with the depth and breadth of Obama's answers. Not only the depth of knowledge expressed on the issue but the ability to show how any given issue effects others.


    September 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  4. Pat, Fayetteville, NC


    How could you go in a booth and vote for George Bush for governor of Texas? His ego will not permit him to acknowledge that he may be wrong about a matter. During his term as governor, he could not bring himself to believe that some of the prisoners sentenced to death may have been innocent. His inability to acknowledge an error has sent thousands of young men and women in harms way to Badraq. And to end it all, neither he nor his VP served in a war when they had the opportunity – Vietnam!

    Killings in Badraq have eased up, but that will not change the horrific damage to human life that has already occurred.

    September 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  5. RDas

    Instead of conducting staged, phony and divisive debates, you media barons should consider doing more of these presidential forums that Judy Woodruff and Rick Stengel just did. I got a great sense of each candidate without the constant one-upmanship that debates create. Each person got a chance to present their ideas without any interruptions and in a civil atmosphere. –Obama supporter

    September 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |

    The event was too short ... a shame

    September 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  7. Kathy

    We all need to be inspired to serve; the young with their ideology, and us oldsters who see the finish line coming up fast. I work with inner city kids trying to get through their first semester of college. Now that is inspiring. AND they are all doing community service as well.

    September 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  8. Andrew

    I am a college student and listening to Obama, I can tell that he is speaking from the heart. It was terrific!

    September 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  9. Kim-Canada

    Obama says he'd like to lead by inspiring, I think he inspires just be running for president

    September 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  10. Tria

    Why is it ok for for the government to build a bigger army, but not for the government to fund community more service programs? This country has spent enough talent and treasure on war, why shouldn't our Government focus on helping Americans, not just preparing for the next war?

    September 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  11. Jamie

    Good question for Senator Obama:

    You benefited form affirmative action in your younger years and look where you are today. But America has changed since your youth. Today, what are your feelings about affirmative action and do you think it has helped foster instances of reverse discrimination?

    September 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  12. Colt

    When Obama was cheered by one girl when he mentioned energy independence–McCain is aiming for the same thing also.

    September 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  13. Tera

    Sa, I'm so glad you said that. No one can put a definition on what it is to be an American. Thanks for saying it!!!!!

    September 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  14. Skip

    Not impressed with Obama...

    September 11, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |

    Amy we are not downplaying the Military in fact we are doing the exact opposite, but it is not hte only service.

    September 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  16. Nick G

    Sarah Palin is nothing more than what Spiro Agnew was to Richard Nixon. She will do all the dirty work so McCain won't have to and look bad. It's a shame that Americans let hype and trash talking control their emotions and good judgement, instead of taking a deep look at the candidates and what they are offering. We need to vote for what is in our best interest of our country whether you are a Democrat or a Republican and not let distractions and pity comments or hype distract us from the real issues.

    September 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  17. Dexter

    Good one Paul!

    September 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  18. American

    I just had a funny thought. I wonder how Sarah Palin would answer these questions.

    September 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  19. Jeremiah

    I think it's hard to think about volunteering when you are working 2+ jobs and having a hard time paying bills. There's a severe moral issue here, I think that most people are so down in the "dumps" that the issue of serving our country is very disconnected from the average american. Im only 25 but my father who is twice my age has never seen this country in such bad shape.

    September 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  20. Barbara

    Okay, what is everybody rating it???

    September 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  21. Jim

    do you Barack wants to be a president that inspires people? He must have said it 20 times tonight.

    September 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  22. Sandy

    So what if He talks that way, He problably spoke like that all his life. If Obama likes to think before He speaks thats ok with me, because you all know if He jumps out and mispoke you would be down His throat. Face it Obama is in this position because the peopleand Deligates spoke, like it or not. People are trying to find all kinds negatives on McCain and Obama, I look at them as Humans and not Gods therefore can make mistakes and have a change of heart. No person on this Blog is perfect so stop the whining and get on the issues.

    September 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  23. Wisconsin_Dem_Erich

    Obama needs to start going after all the lies being told by the McCain/Palin camp. They are getting away with wayyyyyyy too much. it's time to show America what liars McCain and Palin are!

    September 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  24. SC

    Obama is so much more nuanced. He also listens, and is willing to listen. If you had both candidates in the room and someone started telling a long and involved story, who would engage the person? Obama would. He is inspiring and would inspire all Americans.

    September 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  25. glen

    After viewing the life story on Senator McCain on Cnn I have come to the conclusion that he is a very ungrateful or appreciative of his first wife’s dedication and devotion toward him. To come back from a war and have extra marital affairs says a lot about his morals and his conduct. If you are not dedicated to the one who love you how can you be
    dedicated to your country.

    September 11, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
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