(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.
If the point is valid it doesn't really matter how long it takes.
I am just tired, but yet fascinated with this presidential race. On one side you have the Rep. and on the other the Dems. Being an Independent, I was undecided til now. Mccain clearly is a joke, he truly feels that he earns the right to be president based on his military experience. A vote for Mccain and Palin is a vote that will set the people of the U.S many steps back. They speak of no issues that we face. In the end, Americans will not vote on the facts, but on the lies that hear. And yes, racism will decide this race!!
I would sign that petition, it is so tiring to hear the negative on each other and not what they would do if elected. I can make up my own mind on comments made during campaign speechs.
...in most Catholic schools community service is required. Starting early is smart and my guess is that the religious schools do it well while the public schools are concerned with...?
Roland....do you not agree that Obama is a much more polished speaker and seems so much more at ease talking? I find Mr. McCain very nervous and gittery?
Interesting – the moderators didn't ask McCain for any specifics but they just asked Obama for them – another indication that everyone is letting the Republicans off easy in this campaign.
I don't think Obama is speaking in generalities at all. I feel he is being more specific than McCain. McCain had great ideas, but offered no solutions as to how to execute those ideas.
The oil companies have millions of acres of land leases available for drilling. They had these lands for years and they have not drilled. What is up with that?
Bay, please explain "lofty" regarding it takes too long for Obama to get to the point.
To the contrary, Bay – Taking time to think before you respond is not lofty…its much better than just talking ot hear your head roll. Isn't that a big complaint we have about politicians now.
I completely disagree. Obama is not "lofty" at all, and I'm sick of hearing people respond that way. What Obama is doing is called, "thinking". I don't know about you guys, but I want a President who thinks about an issue from all sides before he acts. He is showing himself to be both decisive, and thoughtful.
Bya I'd rather hear lofty-then hear a load of "simple" bull!
Bay, after the RNC how can you possibly accuse Barack Obama of lacking specifics with anything resembling a straight face?
Oneal I disagree with you. Racism, sexism all existed before 9/11. After 9/11. People put those aside and came together as one to help those victims and help NY. We came together as Americans not as different individuals.. So i think you are wrong on that point.
Right ALL AMERICANs.. thanks for the comment Mary
Leah, thats called transparancy. With republicans in office, we lose that
Well, sorry, Bay, but Obama is not "lofty" to those of us with an average attention span who want more than 5 second sound bites. Nice try to slip in that RNC talking point tho.
Bay, I like lofty. Lofty inspires me to get involved in community service. Lofty makes me go out and help get over a hundred university students registered to vote every weekday (so far). Lofty makes me have hope that what I'm doing will make a difference.
Bay, thats because none of these questions should not be answered simply. i can understand Barack's answers even if they are a bit more detailed and longer then McCains.
what they sai about imigration reform
Boy Bay......what happened to addressing Barack Obama as "Senator" he is still representing the people of his district even though he is running for President.
I also hope that Obama is able to speak without needing to think so much before his answers. However....is there any wonder he feels he needs to analyze every word before it comes out now with McCain's campaigning strategies?
With the hardship's that a lot of American's are feeling. . .Obama definitely has Unity in his plan!
Please Bay, that's all the critisism you have of Obama. That his answers are too long and he doesn't get to the point in a certain period of time. What is an approprate time frame for him to get your vote. Because it seems you don't disagree with what he is saying.
Here is what scarry is: Palin. You know the leading cause of terrorism is religious extremists trying to obtain power.