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. Michael Smith

    The Palin-McCain ticket scares me to death!

    September 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  2. bray

    Where did Bay go? Republicans are always outnumbered on the CNN site. wonder why?

    September 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  3. TLeigh

    First, this is probably the most important election we might see (depending). What I am fascinated with is the lack of that insistance to make a stand and name the top 3 necessary changes that need to be made in the US. Neither candidate has really put their foot down what is on their agenda. They get asked questions about this and that and they end up answering in a noncommitted manner. You can't take that seriously. Where is the strength!

    September 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  4. Janie

    How can Obama inspire young people to join the military when he never served in the military himself? How was he able to say this with a straight face? He is all smoke and mirrors.

    September 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  5. scott

    It's a shame that the political Right keeps latching onto Obama's words and phrases and either tries to claim them (McCain's new mantra for "Change" or the statement that "Washington is broken") or tries to twist them into something inappropriate (the "lipstick on a pig" misdirection, which became another non-story in the media spotlight). Republicans need to embrace the community spirit instead of the dog-eat-dog mentality.

    Tonight's forum on CNN was actually refreshing in that I got to hear McCain speak without too much rhetoric–although he fell back into it often. And I got to hear Obama discuss the how-to aspects of what might be implemented if he becomes President. I will be voting with my conscience as always, but so far Obama has given the most thoughtful answers and inspires the most optimism in regaining the America I want to live in.

    September 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  6. Kibo

    "Somebody watched the tape and learned something."

    It sure would be nice to have a President who learned from their mistakes, rather than insisting that they're correct no matter how many fact checkers call something a lie.

    September 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  7. Blair for Illinois

    This is my first time blogging and this will be my last with CNN. Everyone of the commentaries are so in love with anyone but McCain that they don't see all sides.. PLus nothing get posted, I guess if it doesn't fit their agenda, then it doesn't get posted. Thank god for the Bill Oreilly interview or no one would know how Obama about thinks. Glad he admitted the surge was successful..

    September 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  8. jazz

    This is our opportunity young, old, men, women, black, white hispanics, asian etc... lets get toguether and vote for barack obama. It will be a big mistake to vote for John Mccaine and now its even more dangerous with sarah palin wich has no foreign policy experience and no brain, I saw her speakin at the new interview and she sounds like she learned all the scrip!

    September 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  9. Sharon

    Why was Obama just cut off early???

    September 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  10. Tell the truth


    Obama's answers appear to be far more specific than McCain's.

    What new? Obama has always been more specific than McCain's. You guys are telling the truth on this blog. Try telling the truth on TV

    September 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  11. robert

    Headline will read 5 Nov 08:

    "President Obama"

    God Bless America

    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  12. Jeff in Los Angeles

    McCain said he admirers Obama's service as a community organizer, and tried to say it was OK for Sarah Palin to attack him because he was attacking her as a mayor of a small city. The way she attacked him was sarcastic and demeaning. Obama was never demeaning in his account of her being the mayor of a small town. McCain said nothing about Guiliani laughing at Obama's community service record. The bottom line is, this was John McCain's convention. He controls the message and the tone. He can say all he wants tonight about giving Obama kudos for his community work, but the message and tone of Guiliani and Palin's remarks at the convention speak the truth.

    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  13. Jake

    Seth – Why can't Republicans tolerate nuance? It seems like, going back to Kerry, Democrats have been labeled "effete" and "wishy washy." Those tactics simply won't hold up in '08, Obama is a much more powerful orator.

    I do remember a President, a rather recent one in fact, who preferred looking at things as black and white, win or lose. Never danced around anything but burning brush. I can't recall, however, how that turned out for the country.

    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  14. FreeNLovIt

    God help us! We're all going to need it. I see an inspired Democrat and an individualistic Republican.

    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  15. Bianca

    Thank you president Obama.

    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  16. Sean

    So then this forum was basically like the Faith one? Because that didn't seem to change anything either.

    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  17. Veronica Petchak

    Hey what happen to the money we gve her for the bridge? I hope it fixed some roads.

    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  18. Typical White Person

    There are many groups – non-governmental – for kids to learn to serve their community and their country.

    Problem is, the left tries to dismantle them! Take the Boy Scouts...the left can't stand to have a non-religious kid just tolerate the oath to God and country. They are suing the uniforms off of these kids. Girl Scouts, recreation programs that incorporate volunteerism.

    Community service for school credit or money is not volunteerism.

    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  19. Jane

    Ever since John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate, the political landscape has been sliding downhill like a mudslide. Talk about a smear campaign. John McCain who used to stand above other Republicans in his refusal to fight dirty has thrown himself willingly into the mud. He was one of the few Republicans who could, and did, set aside bipartisan politics. It is disheartening to see a once respected Senator lower hiimself to Rove-ian methods. As for Sarah Palin – I am dumbfounded at the number of people who are willing to vote for her without really knowing anything about her. I question why she and McCain are hiding her from the media and the public except for carefully staged settings. What is she hiding? Since McCain has put her in the position of being a potential President of the United States, it is irresponsible to allow her to dodge tough questions.

    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  20. Mo

    Better to sound tired than to be tired.

    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  21. DEBBIE


    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  22. Interested

    I think the best line from Obama campaign right now would be, Joe Biden saying,

    "John McCain wants to be our next president & I say, Thanks, but No thanks."

    This would be like stealing reps own line & if it catches up it will give Joe Biden the much required air-time....

    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  23. MLB

    When I was young, my father insisted I do community work (volunteering at YMCA, various things through church). Sometimes it was frustrating, but the truth is I liked it... and more importantly, I learned from it. I think mandatory service is a great idea! Many young people don't realize how rewarding service is until they're confronted with it... How else will they know?

    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  24. John Illinois

    I have to laugh at these people saying Obama "inspires" them so much. How does a guy that hasn't accomplished anything as a state legislator or as an absentee senator and says absolutely nothing as our state of Illinois collapses economically and educationally due to the total corruption of his Democrat Machine party inspire anyone? I don't get it.

    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  25. Cam

    I would love to see many more of these types of forums (although with talk about all the other issues indivdually, ie. economy, energy, -war, etc.

    September 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
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