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. O.C.

    Am I the only one who is really outraged by the McCain campaign ad which claims Obama wants kindergarten students to be taught comprehensive sex education? This was a complete distortion of the facts and a new low particularly because it involves children and stokes false fears. I can't imagine why the media is letting that ad slide.

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

    Would I pay more taxes if I knew that I would be covered if I got sick....


    Would I pay more taxes if I knew my children wouldn't have to pay loans thirty years after graduating from college?....


    Would I pay taxes if my country actually took care of me in my old age and cared about the families and children living in this country instead of taking my tax dollars and bailing out companies who fail but still have enough money to give tens of millions in bonuses???

    Thats a no brainer. YES!!

    Will someone ask the question why did the government shot down the notion of bailing out homeowners but jumped at the opportunity to bail out Bear Sterns and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  3. Silas Dogood

    Mandatory community service... Great way to teach kids to get involved. Force them into doing something, rather than lighting the path and showing them the value of a strong community and sense of civic pride.

    Educate. Be a role model. Don't force it down their throats because you don't know how to raise children to be adults.

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  4. Dave-o, Honolulu HI

    Why don't you talking heads ask some questions with some meat instead of the softball questions you ask perpetuating the myth of the liberal media. The truth appears to be that you are pushing the Republican agenda and the Bush Tax cuts because if you do the math, Obamas tax plan would increase most of the talking heads on cnn and fox and every other media outlet. Come on guys ask the real questions of Palin. She flip flopped on the "bridge to no where" only when it was clear that Congress and the rest of America was outraged. She didn't oppose it. She was the queen of pork that most Governors are. Come on. What state governor isn't pushing their congressional delegations to bring home the pork. If the lipstick fits...

    I gotta say that the Republicans are remarkably "thin skinned" about comments in the media. If Sarah Palin is offended by the lipstick on a pig remark...that's nothing compared to the "swift boat" lies that the Republicans perpetuated as if it were true.

    Come on Candy and Wolfie...ask the real questions and stop trying to change this election.

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

    OBAMA really, really inspires me. I heard him talk tonight about a corps of volunteers working with veterans to help the get back to their lives in their communities. That is something that I would definitely want to be a part of.

    Go Roland!!!!!!!

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


    How can you say Obama never answers any questions? Did you watch the forum? Obama was specific regarding many of his ideas, and he answered the questions directly.

    September 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  7. Karl Rove sucks

    mc cain is karl rove puppy

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

    Obama is such an inspiration to us all. We NEED him as our president! God Bless Obama and God Bless America!

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

    I hope that the American people will open their eyes and see that Barak Obama is the change that our country needs right now. Sarah Palin is a fresh face in the political scene, however not at this time is she ready to hold this high of an office,I am sure her time will come. The time is not now to risk the chances of our future to fall in her hands. She has got a bright future and maybe someday it will be Hillary Clinton vs Sarah Palin.

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

    What I get from McCain (and people on this forum): you want to serve our country? Join the military. It's better. You're more "noble".

    What I got from Obama: you want to serve our country? There are any number of ways–choose the one that's best suited to your talents and strengths.

    I'm a teacher of English, but after hearing Obama speak, I'm interested in retraining to serve in a more necessary area, like math. I'm spurred to take action. Watching McCain I felt like maybe I should just step aside and let the private sector and "faith-based charities" do all the service for me. Hey. Why don't we privatize the military if they can do it so much better than we?


    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  11. Vik

    Look. The bottom line is both are going to talk about the need for service in a forum that professes that. Having said that, I thought McCain came across as very service minded and sincere in his answers, and Obama I thought pandered and was preachy.
    The truth however is that both have served the country in their own capacities one as a man who sacrificed his body for the country and another his time as a community organizer.
    So as far as I can tell, Obama is beginning to look tired and repetitive. His hope message is getting old and not resonating as it used to. I don't know why this is, but he seems he is out of it lately.
    I believe Sarah Palin has done to Obama, what Obama so successfully did to Hillary. Who is this new person trying to unseat ME syndrome.

    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  12. Sherri

    McCain-Palin = DRAFT

    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  13. Paul

    I could just see McCain and conservatives trying to shrink government down to nothing.
    "I'm running for president so that one day we wont even need a president anymore".

    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  14. Snoozi

    Maybe Paul thinks it is a snoozefest for people because he has no interest in service. I, for one, do have an interest and I am serving and I don't take it lightly when others scorn that service

    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  15. David

    I still want to know if "community service" for Obama included a stint with ACORN, which has settled in a lawsuit over voter fraud. Even if it's an internet rumor, it deserves to be addressed in the same way rumors about Palin have been addressed.

    I'd also like to hear Obama talk about it himself, because he seems to do a great job responding to these kinds of things.

    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  16. Damisi

    National service should be mandatory... namely service in the military. When these "arm-chair patriots" with flags on their trucks talk about how Obama and the democrats are weak on terrorism, it gets to me. Many of these critics never served in the military.

    The point of mandatory service is not to reinforce the idea of free will, it is to achieve the aggregate goal of EVERYONE contributing to help each other. If this policy were implemented, maybe the our countries citizens will begin to consider other people's realities, instead of just their own.

    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  17. Pam

    John, I'm not sure what answer you wanted to hear because Obama answered in detail all that was asked of him. Perhaps McCain appeals to your short attention span.

    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  18. Heather

    I'll admit Obama has good ideas and so does McCain so where do we find the balance people? I'm only 17 years old and I am already tired of the same old Republican and Democrat routine where they bash each others heads in until America decides which one is the better "fighter."

    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  19. Texico From Mexico

    Did you know that JFK is the only President that donated his entire salary to charity? I have this feeling the Mr. Obama will too. This man inspires people.

    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  20. Firefly

    It looks that way, Palin seems to have more camera time then McCain...she is always with her. if you were not following the trail, you would think – She is running for president.


    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  21. ron

    Its funny how people se waht they want to see! Open your mind and set it free!

    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  22. Jan in MI

    I totally agree with YESSIR......Obama is very inspiring, and I also want to do what I can to help our country.

    I am ashamed to say that I have been to busy caught up in the ups and downs of my own life....and my childrens lives.....I care about things, but have never acted before.

    Go OBAMA /BIDEN 08

    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  23. Shannon

    Roland, excellent suggestion about a petition. I will definitely look into that.

    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  24. roberto

    this forum is going to help to start this race get back to the issues. ooops what is sarah palin going to do?

    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  25. Sasha

    Obama just can't answer a question directly. *yawn* Get to the point already!

    September 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
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