September 11th, 2008
08:20 PM ET
6 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. Lindsey

    There was no one person who dominated the night. If McCain's approach appeals to you, you think he won the night, if Obama's approach is more your speed, then you think he won the night. The bottom line is that this year we have TWO candidates that their respective parties should be proud of this year. I just hope mine wins....Obama/Biden 08!

    September 11, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  2. Darren

    It's an American tradgedy that this election (as well as the past two) has become "American Idol". There should not even be a debate as to whether or not Gov Palin is qualified. The media and the Republicans would have made the Democrats look like idiots if they had chosen someone of her stature (20 months as Governor of Alaska!?!) – Dan Quayle anyone?
    We are seeing, daily, how this country, economically, is taking on water and sinking faster and faster. We have John McCain using the same "Rovian" scare tactics we've talked about for eight years and some of us keep voting this way. How is this POSSIBLE? When the country had enough guts to vote for Bill Clinton over a war hero, we prospered. They say people vote their pocketbooks...now they're voting for their favorite magazine covers.

    September 11, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  3. Patriot - S. FL

    I thought it was pleasant, no "gotcha" – a nice chance to listen and decide. I preferred McCain, but it was much more pleasant than the debates – which seem like they are trying to trip them up – a game of the anchors trying to show they are on stage – we do not care to hear from them, we want to hear the candidates

    September 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  4. sandy levin

    I was so impressed with Obama not that McCain did bad but Obama was truly inspirational and full of hope. I am old enough to remember John Kennedy and he speaks with the same kind of heart. I can truly see him representing our country as President much more than I can McCain. McCain can't have Palin at his side every minute and besides what she knows about foreign policy she just learned to prepare for her interview with Charlie Gibson.

    September 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  5. Beverly

    I have yet to understand the Palin bandwagon. The entire charade reminds me of the story of the Emperor's New Clothes. I am disappointed in women who do not look beyond their gender, and in men who look only at the lipstick. The world looking on must be amused and terrified all at once. This election offers the opportunity for America to truly define itself. Will it be defined as intelligence or glitz?

    September 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  6. Jen From MN

    Tonight was a refreshing take on politics. It was nice listening to two adults.

    I also enjoyed tonight was about McCain and Obama and what they would do for/with this country.

    Palin and McCain were not connected at the hip and we were reminded who is actually running for President.

    Both men did a fine job.

    September 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  7. Lacy Lady

    I thought Obama did a GREAT job tonight on the forum. I agree that children and young adults can learn to give their time for many programs that help. I am an senior citizen and can still remember when my brother and I went thru our neighborhood during WWII and collected papers and scrap iron . Also I knit blocks for afghans which were used for army cots for the soldiers. The Red Cross taught us how to knit . We as children 10 and 12 years old were so proud to due our part for the War effort.
    Our families were given ration cards for sugar, coffee ,gas & etc.
    The children in our neighbor wrote letters to the men in service by
    V-Mail. Our parents always filled our car with many-to conserve on gas. My cousins were in the Navy and on Pearl Harbor on that fatal day . Many many cousins, uncles, fathers served in that War. Some never returned.

    September 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  8. JayHawkDad

    Go Robert.....you were the only CNN "political" analyst tonight who was a straight shooter on providing real commentary about the Palin interview. I asked my wife to answer the questions Sara P was given and she blew Sarah away....and she is a hairstylist, not a Govenor of Mooseville. Just like McCain, she danced around the issues and lacked providing any real solutons. What did I take from it, God help us if this woman becomes president and is a finger away from pushing the button.

    September 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  9. Mark

    Obama is more in tune with humanity and the need to inspire Americans to greater things. He understands what it takes to truly make American great. I just don't feel a connection with McCain and he certainly does not inspire me. Obama would unite us all to get things done and improve our nation whereas McCain would simply be a continuation of the past 8 years of division. I have made up my mind.,

    September 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  10. PNK

    I noticed that Obama, which he has done before, said "we" a lot in the forum. As in "we believe, we want, we know" etc. I get what he's trying to do, and this is a good facilitative technique for a teacher/professor, which he used to be, but I'm beginning to think he needs to inflect more "I think, I feel, I have seen..." and the like to come across as more direct and as someone who has a plan and can take charge.

    September 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  11. Louis Bellantoni

    Yes the candidates were both very convincing. McCain convinced me that he wants another war in the name of national service. Obama convinced me that he wants national service for the sake of the nations people.

    September 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  12. Joel Carter

    We should not focus on military only but we can do the volunteer in the civic services, medical services, scientific community. The people of America can work and volunteer at the same time and separate times as individuals. Think about taking a job and try to find the time to volunteer. For example, I worked at Target and take a volunteer as holiday helpers. It will help your karma aura around your bodies. It is important to have good karma and do not let your karma go bad. :)

    September 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  13. jeanie

    The fact that Palin is picking and choosing her interviews states she may not be ready to govern the USA

    September 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  14. Jace

    I am an old Democrat, and a black man, and all I have to say after that is this...... And I'm sure this won't be posted!

    I love John McCain now, that man (as much as I hated him to begin with), hit it out of the ball park! Palin is a welcome figure as well!

    McCain is substance!
    Obama is not substance!

    September 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  15. Kate

    Obama was clear, inspiring and intelligent. McCain offered more of the same canned answers. Enough is enough!

    September 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  16. larry

    How long do we as constituents give someone to show that they really want change? Is it a month, 6 months, 26 years??? The problem is, the change that John McCain's looking for is that which jingles in his pocket. He has had his chance, he has shown what he can do for our country. He has proven his "maverickness". He has shown us his true inner feelings that war should only be used as the last resort when in his speech in pursuit of the Iraq attack he said.. "Now is not the time to give peace a chance". Way to go John... you did wonderfully. John McCain getting credit for the "surge working" is analogous to wrecking the family car, and then asking for credit for spray painting the headlights. You don't get credit for anything good regarding this atrocity. I challenge anyone to in all honesty tell us just one good thing that has come from the occupation of Iraq.

    September 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  17. Bruce

    "Private sector has the solutions, not government." "1000 points of light" "Faith-based initiatives". The republicans SOUND like they are all for private citizens improving their communities themselves .... but heaven help you if you actually do it – Guilliani and Palin are going to expose you as a clueless sap at the republican convention.

    Get a clue! The republicans only care about you if you are carrying a gun (ideally as a private citizen vigilante) or if you are an investment banker that screwed up and is forced to leave your job with a multi-million dollar severance package.

    What a country. What a poor, sad, screwed up country ...

    September 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  18. Tommy

    This event was the type of coverage that this nation deserves and needs. The Palinsky distraction and Rove inspired divisiveness is useless – except for the Republicans who love it – for it serves their purposes. "Who cares about the country – win at all cost". Thanks finally for moving away from the distractions – at least for a few minutes – and returning to the ideas that matter.

    September 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  19. Diedre Douglas

    Who talked generically about 'service': John McCain

    Who spoke with specifics about what 'service is: Barack Obama.

    Advantage: Obama

    September 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  20. Mary Nell Billings

    How can Palin be ready to be VP behind the oldest presidential candidate if it took two weeks of preping for her first interview after being nominated?

    September 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  21. Mark Fahey

    Is it possible for Mr. McCain to see the damage he is doing to this country by choosing to follow the Rove tactics in this historical election? Please try to stick to the topics – REPAIRING AMERICA from the Bush War on America. Can he restore civility to the Rep. Party and maybe himself.

    September 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  22. Pascal

    What does everyone think of Governor Palin suggesting that we may have a military conflict with Russia. Can the US military handle a war with a world power like Russia right now? The military is already straining with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. A war with Iran right now would bring us to the breaking point. I can't imagine us being able to do anything about Russia while we have those conflicts going on. I'm sure our European allies would look the other way on such a conflict.

    What do you guys think?

    September 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  23. Eyes open

    I will never watched FOX There news is pulling teeth of an elephant so many reporters so many lies must be good republican money put to work . They might as well end every show PARTY AT BUSH HOUSE

    September 11, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  24. Lanre Akinola

    Palin does not George Bush Doctrine, in fact, that was so dissappointing. So what the hell have the Republican puppets been training her on foreign policy.

    September 11, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  25. Adam

    You should be ashamed of yourself. I have never seen such outragous, disgusting lies and slander in a presidential campaign. It would be funny if it weren't so revolting.

    McCains Ads are literally lies. He changes quotes to suite his needs, lies about sources, lies about accomplishments, and NOBODY IS CALLING HIM ON IT. These are not half-truths, he is not streaching the truth, HE IS MAKING STUFF UP, and putting it on TV. Why is this not front page news? How is this OK?

    THIS IS YOUR JOB!!! DO IT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD

    September 11, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
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