(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.
GO,,,,, Lesser of the two evils...
Have to admit that McCain did a decent job this evening, but he should be thrown out of the republican party for dissing them and Pres. Bush.
Who is he trying to impress anyways–some of the American people who may not realize what really is going on with him and his "swift boating" of Obama. Obama responded more precisely with the questions and didn't meander like McCain.
I listen. I listen to every side. When I became a public school teacher (16 years, now), I became a democrat (for painfully obvious reasons), whereas before I only followed the directives of my very Republican father. He was a Goldwater Boy. I was his daughter– and didn't know squat on my own.
Tonight, I listened again. Tonight, the forum, for the most part, was a good one.
Advice to the Obama campaign (not that I'm an expert. I would never pretend to be . . . but . . . ") : The Republicans will parse your answer to the "health care" question about civilian/volunteer service to the country. The question from Judy Woodruff concerned whether your adminstration would provide the same health care benefits (as provided to the military) for those "others" who "serve" our country. You intimated that you would not. You intimated that there were "degrees of service."
How do you reconcile your answer tonight with your commitment to universal health care? These things are connected. .Did you mean what you said?
While I will still vote for you, the GOP will use this against you and I wonder how you will address this particular contradiction when some enterprising GOP intern is smart enough to call you on your blunder (or Anderson or Wolf or Chris, et al).
I have a feeling that the Dems are going to mess this up . . . all over again.
Dana L. Davenport
Silas, Obama doesn't plan to force, but provide incentives, like college tuition.
I am really hearing an Imperialist style of hyperbole from both McCain his running mate..It scares the bjeebees out of me...What are we to become if being the world's police is the goal...So much to be done within the borders...building up the citizens through education, jobs and a strong economy is primary to anything we hope to attain outside of our borders.
Regarding your editorial you posted yesterday, does everyone now agree that Obama made a huge mistake by not asking Hillary to be on the ticket? 18 million votes and all of his brilliant backers couldn't see as the editorial highlighted that McCain of course would come out with such a surprise–Palin is energizing the party and impacting the independents decision to vote McCain. Shame Obama didn't see this coming.
I have to get this in quickly. I thought Palin was awful tonight with Charlie Gibson. She seemed as though she was following a script and if Charlie pushed her too hard then she would emphasis her script by making it seem as if getting a pitch higher would make her sound understandable. I watched the Obama and McCain forum and if people really listened to the true issues and responses, instead of being sidetracked by silly non-issues, Obama would be much further ahead. Although I don't believe in Polls.
I disagree with Bill Schneider's comment about Democrats, and Obama wanting the government to be a source of inspiration. the source of inspiration should be individual citizens who take that into government.
In your segment reviewing the sarah palin interview, the former republican campaign manager of mitt romney said "obama suggested taking this to the un security council where russia has veto power" at the end of the segment.
why isn't anyone calling her out and saying that mccain said the exact same thing live on CNN cameras??? it was on the jon stewart show of all places, he replayed mccain quoting it. the hypocrasy of this "expert republican" is absolutely astounding...
after her interview, she needs a dictionary! how possibly she doesnt know BUSH DOCTRINE? too bad jhony angel wasnt there!
McCain broke the cardinal rule. You never ever hang a fellow vet out to dry over his military record if its honorable. What McCain did to John Kerry 4 years ago by backing the swiftboaters was a disgrace to this nation. You may not agree in politics but you never attack a fellow vets war record, especially one who went to Vietnam as was wounded.
Someone please tell John McCain that one of the big things we as voters would like to see changed about Washington is the meanness and nastiness of presidential campaigns. Obama has been trying to demonstrate that change, but it's hard when the other campaign insists on taking it as low as possible.
Roland, Obama did not answer the question that the Democrats are belittleling the town mayors when you say its not experience. I remember you started the talked that talk that the Republicans are doing it to community organizers after Palins speech.
Bay, She really did not know what the bush doctrine was?
I remember working along side my father doing communtiy service ! I loved it! It gave me happiness to know that I was helppinga family out who had so little. I do believe communtiy service is needed in fact in my old school district we hada160 hours of communtiy service that was required to graduate.
Barbara, were you not listening? He specifically answered the questions with implementable detail. Give me a break, seriously.
Babe Buchanan knows that Palin did not recognize what the Bush Doctrine is. Sorry Babe, but the Bush Doctrine means something very specific just like the Monroe Doctrine and the Reagan Doctrine do. The problem with Palin is not that she doesn't have experience. The problem is that she does not possess the most basic knowledge about public affairs beyond the limited world of Alaska state and local government.
I don't know how anyone could choose McCain over Obama after seeing them both in action tonight.
William Dalton – Yes, Palin and Giulianni MOCKED 'community organizers' during their speeches at the Republican convention.
I just want to say for all of you people who are looking for the poll that had Obama up on the military vote. If you are having a hard time finding it in the left wing media, chances are its not that accurate. Also, keep in mind that unless you poll the whole military all of these little polls that these groups do are meaningless. Oh and if your friend is mixing politics with his military career he's not a real soldier anyways.
Given how the mainstream media has been pimping for the Democrats for so long, isnt it amazing that the McCain campaign has been able to get its message out there to the point where they are in a dead heat? Amazing, I think... the silent majority kicks the media elite in the behind again.
There has never been and there is not now any shortage of opportunities for young and old to participate in meaningful and valuable community service.
Rotary played a major in eradicating polio, worldwide. That is just one example, many other community service organizations are doing similar work.
Organizations such as Rotary, Kiwanis, Civitan, and many others, including colleges and universities are sponsoring thousands of student international exchange programs.
The government is not the answer, it is the problem in promoting community service and international understanding on the individual level, which is where it counts.
America needs a leader who inspires, removes our dependency on oil and focus on alternative fueling.
Ever since Obama spoke about, less TV for children, reduce energy.
I have initiated a movememt within my company and home by making sure we turn off our laptops, once a week work from home, stop my children from watching TV and playing computer games.
You need a leader whose ideas can inspire and motivate people in the right direction.
When I see McCain, I see him as a great person who helped and served our country. He is definitely a great person. My heat too goes out for him when I see him on stage.
Definitely Obama needs to consider him as a security advisor or defense secretary when he comes to power. Likewise, McCain needs to consider Obama for his energy policies and continue to motivate people in the right direction.
At least for now, I am definitely convinced that Obama will win this election. He will definitely cause a big change to our country like what President Clinton did.
Sen Obama is on the right track we have to look to the future 21 century our young people are our future we have to make our country strong education our young there has to be a change. I am 62 year old and I have been inspired to serve I will . Thank you Sen Obama