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. mike

    Now, David Gregroy on the other channel, you know the repbulican who replaced Olberman, is just ranting how great McSame was. Of course he is now reading his blackberry getting his talking points!!!
    Gross, MSNBC has turned red in a matter of months!! No objectivity, Cnn is the place, especially in the morning!!! '
    Obama's answers were more direct. McSame over does the sympathy card...

    September 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  2. Jason

    Obama has always been the stronger speaker to me and this idea of 'service' is important to the core of Obama's platform to me. If I could roll back the clock five years and have my volunteer service pay my tuition well.. whew.

    Also in related news, Sallie Mae told me here in my last semester at college they are no longer offering private loans. I think a big overlooked demographic here are poor college students like me, living off ramen noodles just so I can get by from day to day. I realize working families have it rough, but lets see a lot of working stiffs juggle full time work, full time college and try to squeeze in being 'on call' for your job and woken up every ten minutes for a tech support. It's like having a child without the tax break.

    What I wouldn't give for a little volunteer work now.

    September 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  3. Toby Price

    I am just glad to hear someone speak with specifics, with solid ideas, and with a sense of where America really is. Obama is that man. What happenend in this country over the last 8 years? Our standards have been lowerer. Bush was awful, and bc of that McCain seems like a good idea to a lot of people. I personally feel compelled to want to do more for America every time I hear Obama speak. He inspires me and I believe that he is totally in touch with CLEAR IDEAS on how to make this country better.

    September 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  4. Shirley-Ohio

    I saw parts of Palin's interview and I see why they wanted to keep her out of the media. This election is a joke and McCain should be ashame of himself for what he did, picking her for Vice President. I know the other two potential VP women of the Republican side is LOL.

    September 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  5. Pat

    I was so pleased to see just the Presidential candidates and no VP crap going on. I think it truly showed the candidates on their own without props and ads. This is the way the entire campaign should go and I think McCain should do a re-think on on shoving media attention to his VP instead of himself. I do think the American public would appreciate this.

    September 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  6. namit

    Today mccain mentioned some thing very new to me... You are on accelerated path to citizenship if you participate in military.. I feel thats some thing we dont want ... We want patriots.. You cannot bargain on national security...
    Can some analyst put some detail comment on this..?

    September 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  7. DREW79

    I really enjoyed the interview and this forum only made it infinately better

    September 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  8. mike

    Now is the time for the Democrats, center/left independents and liberal Republicans to mobilize. No more sitting back waiting for someone else to speak up for you! Obama has a chance of losing to McCain/Palin. Actually, losing to Sarah Palin.

    This is no joke, no American Idol gaffe, but the real deal – our beloved nation is at stake.

    We've got to kick it into gear, because the right has got their game face on and they are playing the media very well. Sarah Palin has the look, the sound-bites, the attitude down like a made-for-TV movie (yes, that's exactly what it's looking like...just like Matt Damon recently said...only a bad movie).

    Come on everyone. Tell your neighbors you care about who gets elected, and while it's a nice story that a soccer mom can become president of the United States, I honestly don't want a "pitbull with lipstick" in the Oval Office.

    No more Bush policies. Let's try something different, and better, for a real change – Palin/McCain sure aren't it!


    September 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  9. amle

    McCain is an inspiration. Obama never served his country in the military. Oh yeah, he hates the military and what they stand for.

    September 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  10. Saad, NJ

    Both candidates spoke very nicely regarding our military… but I wish they would for once slip in some plan and strategy to make this world a rather more peaceful place. If their plan works, we will have no need to increase our military and considering inflation, continue to increase the funding for our military.

    I know all of teh above is wishful thinking but hey… I am asking to slip that only once… afterall, we are the country rest of the world looks up to and listens to…. or at least used to!!!

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  11. Esencia09

    I don't trust a man who seeks to equate himself with a messianic figure. Messiah's are called to make the ultimate sacrifice for humanity which is to give up their own life. If this is the case, Obama should give up running for President and join the priesthood.

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  12. Kirk


    The treatment of McCain's military record by Obama, and almost all other democrats, has been overwhelmingly positive. When compared to the unsubstantiated attacks that John Kerry was forced to endure about his military service during the 2004 election, the key difference between the election strategies between the two political parties becomes evident. I can only hope that this election, unlike the last, will not be decided based on partisan attacks.

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  13. jazz

    Obama was better than mccain, I think mccain looked just like jorge bush answering questions, everything is a joke to them. When people are loosing their homes, and food is so expensive!

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  14. laurie

    It was so great to see Obama again on message and displaying his leadership role/style. OBAMA '08! With all the publicity coverage this past 1-2 weeks, the real facts/issues have been so diluted. If only we could have more days like today where silly season is silenced. Laurie (Centerville, Ohio)

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  15. Nathan

    Obama's a good guy, very personable and inspiring. But that doesn't mean he's the -right- guy. He can tell me about the BILLIONS in spending he wants to -add- to our budget after he fixes the budget to where we have those billions to spend without going further into debt – but it's something I don't see him talking about and frankly, don't think he understands how big of an issue our nations debt is. A few tax increases on the rich won't pay for all the programs he wants to start.

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  16. Tanya

    John, you can't be watching the same forum the rest of us are watching......why am I not surprised, some people NEVER get it!!!

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  17. Brad S. in Knoxville, TN

    I am a middle of the road in political terms, and I think that if I had to give grades based on tonights forum on service that:
    Obama gets an A+
    McCain gets a C
    Score this forum for Obama and give him a four to six point bump in the polls in the next week!

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  18. Kibo

    The problem with asking for a civil campaign based on the issues is that whichever campaign is behind on the issues will only have two choices: create distractions and use gimmicks or lose.

    McCain has been clear that he will seek victory at all costs, both in Iraq and in politics, even if I don't think we can afford 4 more years.

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  19. Reagan

    I am glad to hear some people are finally inspired to volunteer due to Obama's comments. The rest of us are tired of holding our communities together. Maybe that will be the one thing Obama accomplishes since it won't be as President.

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  20. Sarah- ARIZONA

    Obama rocked it.

    He is the only candidate for president that can truly inspire the young to serve this beautiful country.

    Mcain can't do it.

    Obama has already began to do it with his campaign.

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  21. Tracy

    I think it is important to note that the only reason the presidential race is so close is simply because Barack Obama is white. I am amzed that many (not all) white people would rather vote for 4 to 8 more years of Bush policies (war–McCain's career was built on it and Sarah Palin supports it), very little diplomacy, trillions in debt, high unemplyment, astronimcal gas prices, etc. Racism truly is a disease. It is sick.

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  22. Jeff Gregory

    Tonight, watching Sarah Palin speak with Charlie Gibson was a REAL eye opener. No longer does a question exist in my mind about her foreign policy experience - because she has NONE. Her ignorance as to the definition and scope of the Bush Doctrine, her insability to answer even the most simplistic question about her personal philosphy about U.S. foreign policy...and more...has convinced me the John McCain's first major decision (of selecting Palin) was the debacle for the ages.

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  23. virginia

    obama can answer any question ask without even thinking as McCain does. Obama has a plan and it really sounds like something we have needed in a long time.

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  24. John

    I like the forum idea, maybe a fact check forum would be appropriate. I think both candidates need to be held accountable for their misleading and sometimes completely false statements and attacks. I think both candidates need to explain their tactics to the American public however I think Mr. McCain would have far more explaining to do.

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  25. Nicole in Ga

    I think this is where the focus needs to stay. We are too caught up in Palin, forgetting that the main deal is ultimately between Obama and McCain. I mean, how often have we heard from Cheney during the Bush administration ?

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
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