(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.
How ironic that McCain is talking about National Service since during his party's convention Palin and Mayor G ridiculed it. As a community orgranizer through a national orgranization–I found this insulting and the sarcastic tone demeaning. The service I provide to my community serves at risk families that have fallen through the cracks in the wake of W's econimic policies.
Arguably, McCain and Obama and Biden have proven their commitment to national service. However, the only thing Sarah Palin has served is her own interest: aerial hunting of bears and wolves, earmarks, petty personal vendettas...
Was shopping that bad? Think about it.
The government bailed out Bear Sterns. Is brokering a deal of Lehman Brothers. Maybe this economy was in such bad shape that we needed Americans to spend a few dollars.
By the way, everyone keeps saying we were "asked" to go shopping, but why not name the person who asked us to do? America's personal shopper – President George W. Bush!
Look, I like the guy. I voted for him as governor of Texas when he ran against Gary Mauro. He's likable. But he won't be able to live down that comment.
will there be a debate or only forums?
How about trying to find out who did it? His response sounds political.
Ask yourself, if I were looking for a president for my struggling company and one of the candidates had the same beliefs as the one going out would he be my pick. Also, not only does he have the same beliefs as the one leaving but he is also your 71 year old grandfather, who of course has all the experience in the world but look at him he is your 71 year old grandfather. Would you pick him to run your struggling company. Will he bring the fresh ideas needed to bring your company out of the hole that it is in? Furthermore, not only is he your 71 year old grandfather, but he suffered for 5 years in a prison camp. Is this man who you want to bring you to the next level?
The presidency of the United States has been so dumbed down and compromised under Bush that we desperately need someone to return it (and the nation) to its rightful prestige in the world. McCain and Pallin do not have leadership abilities beyond making the presidency a civil service job. That is why they seem so "approachable". I would like to hear a serious debate on the office of the presidency itself. Ask the candidates what they think that position entails so we can then get back to having a real campaign instead of blocking substance until the election.
first i heard mccain say anything other than 'surge'.
I too was put off by the disparaging of community organizing and I hope McCain is asked about it.
A real American hero would come home from war and take care of his wife instead of trading her in for a newer model. That's real.
I thought this forum was suppose to be about honoring those lost on Sept 11 and what American's can do to help serve our country (politics left aside but hear we go!!!)
McCain bores me to death.
Laura, I believe ignorance is bliss. It is all fair that these comments that Sen. Obama made could have been attacks on Gov. Palin, but it is too far off for you to be really thinking that Obama was attacking Palin or for that matter women. If you listen to the rest of the sound bite before and after you would perhaps get a better picture of what the man was saying. The point with all of this is that when someone is popular and someone makes a negative comment about that person it is usually not taken in a good light and ironically this is POLITICS. Please before you feel offended it should be more important for us to educate ourselves before we really draw very hasty conclusions.
...But compelling people to be morally righteous is fine?
If you want to see the two candidate's plans for National Service, they are both published in full on Mark Halperin's The Page.
The difference in depth and thoughtfulness is astonishing.
Why is it the media and the Republican supporters like to think the Democratic contenders aren't supportive of their party's choice and that the Republicans are.
Anyone who believes the Clintons are willing to sacrifice their country and their policies for four more years of Bush, then they underestimate their commitment to America.
Maynard: Nice to see you misrepresent quotes like MCain does. Biden was complimenting and showing respect for Hillary Clinton as she justly deserves.
McCain was in the Senate when 911 occured. Why didn't he advocate then for people to volunteer, instead of going shopping? He didn't have to be president in order to do that. But he didn't. he went along with Bush. It's only now while running for president. that he is all for volunteerism.
Bill, Public service MAY have been a part of John McCains past, but its certainly not a part of his campaign. I dont consider fabrication and distortion public service and thats all his campaign is about.
Why do the Republicans always want to worry about spreading our "democracy" to the rest of the world when we can't seem to get it right ourselves?
America do not want to sever in the US Amy...I love my life to much.
McCain just mentioned the approval rating of congress being low. What about the approval rating of Bush? It's at 28 percent in CNN's latest poll - tied with his lowest rating ever. McCain doesn't want to talk about that.
It is too bad that McCain did not mention the president's approval rating
Palin has refused to sit down and be interviewed so why on earth would she want to be interviewed by Oprah who supports and campaigns for Obama?
Oprah supporting Obama does not mean that she is against women and women rights. It just mean that she has chosen to support a candidate.
You all say United States but this is more like SEGGREAGTED STATES OF AMERICA! Women over there, men here, balcks ove rthere, whites accross there......come people, stop making the election out to be such a seggregated and gender ruled election.
It is not about the superior gender. It is about the candidates!
They are trying to make palin out to be such a celebrity and superstar and this is why they want her on Oprah show.
Why attack Oprah only? Why not attack EVERY woman who has supported Barack? Why not attack Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton and the rest of us? Stop being so goatish!!
YOU ARE THE ONES MAKING IT A GENDER THING AND NOT OPRAH OR OBAMA!!
if 84% think the country is going in the wrong direction.....shouldn't McCain explain why he has voted with the President so often. Obama hits that point all the time which is redundant but McCain needs to explain how he will change things when he has been ALL ABOUT the same status quo.
I don't feel it's a crock. These are real questions who have a real purpose. As a Barack supporter I want to hear John speak as often as I can without a teleprompter so I can see who he really is.
Senator McCain....your advice is 7 years too late! Why didn't you stand up with President Bush in the days following our invasion into IRAQ in March 2003 and show some "LEADERSHIP" like FDR did during WWII and ask Americans to sacrafice........NO!! You like the rest of the Republican leadership only suggested Americans keep shopping at the malls and driving their SUV's
There are more ways to serve your country than military service.