(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 am ready to hear Obama answer a question with a direct answer instead of rosie rhetoric dispensed round pear shaped tones. Every time he was asked a question that required a strong direct answer he danced around it with all his ideas about how wonderful everything should be, with NO plan as to how to get there! It sure sounds nice to wish things into being, it is a different thing entirely to actually implement programs that fix real problems.
Why can't a campaign take place in a month? It's the Information Age and with a few clicks, anyone who cares can find the information they need on ANYONE. Have we become so lazy these people need to force it down our throats before we get it? It's been a year and a half and people still claim they don't know the candidates. I'm starting to think the undecideds just like the attention.
I am a communitty organizer and I did not take offense to comments made at the RNC because being a community organizer does not make me ready to be president. It is a valuable experience but not a good qualification to be president.
And McCain did not steal change he has actively done it by reaching across the isle. What change is to most people is having our government work together and gettin rid of the partisan bickering. Obama has done some but very little working across the isle.
Everyone says McCain voted his party line 90% but Barack voted his party line 97%. Some years McCain was only around 60% party line. He crosses it when he thinks it benifits the American people.
that's right bill, i don't think they mentioned lipstick once haha
I am surrounded by High School kids with mandatory community service requirements and I BELIEVE IN IT!
"Superstar Palin"?! Check her record, check her outright exaggerations and possible lies. Watch Randi Kaye's report from Alaska today. Read other blogs. I agree that the Dems shouldn't "attack her" – not because she's a woman (it's the 21st century, so who cares?) – but she needs to be pressed beyond talking point answers, as does McCain.
Bill – thats because Republican's are so closed minded. Its all me me me- I know I used to be one of them. Now I am a bleeding heart liberal, and proud of it. Feels good to care about other people more than yourself!
MLB once I woke up from McCains speech that is exactly what I was doing. A "Friends rerun was on and was way more interesting. He needs to be genuine and let the chips fall were they may. I think he is scared to do so. But Obama is not that's why we listen to him so intensely.
What Sarah Palin has proven to me is that the religous are just plain mean. They are absolutely full of hatred and hypocracy. She isn't doing much to attract to me to the church. You know the same people now voting republican in the south because of the same values used to be known as yellow dog democrats. But I think somewhere along the way as the kkk became less socially acceptable they decided to call themselves republicans. I live in Oklahoma and I have to tell you I'm honestly afraid to speak my mind in public because I fear I might be lynched for voting democrat. I'm having trouble feeling the love of Jesus here.
Oh and by the way I am absolutely without a doubt a God fearing, God loving, God praising, bible reading, praying, church going christian.
I'm 57....served in the military, and I didn't need a ra ra speach from someone like Obama
Did McCain slip and say that unlike a small town mayor, he's all the way in Washington out of touch with what's going on? I don't have the direct quote, but I jumped out of my seat.
I am so frustrated – with the candidates – with the media – with everyone involved with the presidential campaign. The issues are what’s important – not the personalities. The Sarah Palin sideshow has completely dominated this election – this domination is leading to a false sense of competency. Please lets re-focus on what’s important – McCain & Obama and what they will do to fix the economy.
Well, Obama did much better.
It was nice to see the candidates being civil for a change....but YOU guys? Sheesh.
It's sad to see honest dissent labeled as 'nonsense' and 'silly' in what's purported to be a civil setting.
I'm sure they treated Thomas Jefferson the same way.
So why is it when Palin or McCain mention the word war people freak out?
Obama came right along and what did he talk about, war and making everyone serve because it is not fair for some to and others not!
It is amazing how Obama people are not listening to the real words.
For people who profess to hate war you sure like to fight!
What's up with Kanye getting arrested? I thought Barack's speech "changed his life"?
My one and only comment is maybe we should start a new blog and call it "Can The Press Ever get It Right"!
Bay says this forum won't change a vote – because it has been a civil discourse? Is the American public so stuck on slogans and ideology that ideas and policies just don't matter anymore?
so explain how barack is ready...
he hasn't proven anything to anyone.
he's a good speaker and you like what he has to say. No more qualified than anyone else in this election
Mr. Bill Schneider, you wear cool hats! You're cool!! :-)
I agree with you Bill. But I do believe that Obama has changed the dynamic across this country of what it means to serve and to be involved. Win or loose (and I pray that he wins), he has changed my life.
Mr. Obama is not giving credit where they are due. The Mayor's duties are more than taking care of the garbage , etc.
If he were to govern any town, city or state he would know.
This was making light of Governor Palin's duties. I am sure this does not bother her at all.
Some people are a little jealous that they have never had any duties,
Just sit in the Senate and vote present is what I have heard.
Here's a question that has been bugging me lately...why is Todd Palin always on stage with the missus? He's a stooge...or is he?
I'm not a fan of the 'controlled environment' question/answer stuff.
I would like to be the one to sit in a room with both candidates and do the questioning myself. THEN, I would get some real answers to the issues important to me and my family.
If McCain knows how to fix it and understands it (whatever it is) why hasn't he fixed it before promising now. The man has been in Congress forever! Seems to be the same promise as that to get the guy who lives in a cave. LOL