(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.
It never ceases to amaze me how we seem to follow what we think is change. We have been listening to Obama spout his changes for 18 months, but he has no way to make thosechanges. He has never taken a stance in anthing. He has gone along with whatever in order to reach his own agenda. McCain has proven he can make change. Has it ever occured to anyone why the heavy hitter democrats backed Obama. They backed him because they know he is inexperienced. Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean, Harry Reid, will be running our country.
I have had enough soul searching, shoot from the hip politics that has ultimately diminished our standing in the world. The fact that Obama talks out his thoughts is not a detriment to his candidacy. I'd much rather vote for someone with the mental capacity to be well spoken and explain himself.
i think it is better that obama express his thoughts than to do the republican gloss over.
I think we are seeing a clear distinction in this election. Short and pointed answers vs. thoughtful well informed ideas.
In the end I think the country has seen the consequences of a knee-jerk president like the former and is hungry for the latter.
I have a problem with people saying Obama is lofty because he's eloquent. It's like saying he has to dumb his message down to connect to the people.
I think I might tune out. There is nothing new here. Nothing even remotely newsworthy. Maybe if you hang in there we might find out if Obama is for or against cavities.
To BK- Did McCain give straight answers??
McCain was on message, poised and confident. He shows he is a leader and even had kind words for Teddy K. (May he continue gaining his health back). However, I am hearing the same speech with only a different day on the letterhead. Need a new message guys!!
McCain is slow...mumbles...his answers fly off into different directions. And Bay seems to think its Kennedy like!!!!
Bay Buchanan is a disgrace to American service. All she can do is call names which does nothing but divide.
As for criticism of his more substantive answers.
I don't think we're used to a president who gives thought to his answers, a leader who doesn't over-simplify things or wear his ignorance like a badge of honor.
Barack Obama is the smartest man in the room. And that's a good thing.
I'm hearing that the high school drop out rates, violence against women and rape rates are some of the highest in the country in Alaska . . . and other very concerning things about money significantly being cut for education and drop out prevention not to mention disabled folks and special needs. This directly effects Americans on a broad scale- concerning McCain's priorities when he chose Palin. Is this only about energy/oil and war?
Would McCain and/or Obma, when they become president be willing to put the people on welfare to work on community service rather than just collecting their checks? There are many jobs these people can do. One that comes to mind is providing baby sitting services for working mothers. Both the canidates talk about volentering time and service, but they both got paid for their service. People need jobs which pay $$$, not good feelings
this forum is a misrepresentation because the commentators selectively respond and leave some out...
Diplomatic relations with Russia seem to be declining into another cold war..or worse. What can we do to prevent this and improve our relations with other countries as well?
It appears that Senator McCain failed to realize that in America, government is ".....we the people." His version of serving came across as joining the military. I would be greatly surprised if I was the only person getting that vibe.
Rand, the time for this country to remain conservative has ended .... we are a nation of many ethnic and language groups... we are not all the same ... and government should not tell each how to live ... the republicans definitely do not "get it" ... and I ain't a democrat
It seems to me that our Foreign Service is overlooked. It also seems we don't use the diplomacy we should.
Are you aware that military in Mississippi has more uniformed personel than the State Department has diplomats worldwide.
The military has more band members than the State Department has diplomats.
The Defense Dept has almost as many lawyers as the State Depart has diplomats.
There is something very wrong with this picture...do you have a plan to increase the diplomatic corps,as did Colin Powell
I was a Hillary supporter, then became an Obama supporter. When Mcain picked Palin, I was excited, I like her a lot. Then, I was brought back to the point of, this is the President of the US and all VP candidates aside, it does come down to Obama and Mcain, not their VP slots, at the end of the day, it's their call, not their backup people.
I thought Mcain was witty tonight, too early to judge for Obama.
I could be wrong, but didnt Palin cut a bunch of service type programs in her state, the cuts they keep talking about that helped her cut the state budget?
Interesting how CNN puts the pictures of the CNN commentators on this blog. I wonder why they're on this blog.
I want the cable new networks to start talking about the issues. Stop it with the lipstick on a pig crap! I want to know how these candidates are going to fix the economy and health care.
Obama seems much more relaxed than Sen. McCain. It seems service is his forte and his ability to inspire people could make for a president who actually restores individual responsibility to Americans.
THESE INTERVIEWERS ARE GOING TO TRY TO MISHANDLE OBAMA I CAN SEE THAT ALREADY AND THEY JUST GOT STARTED! THIS WOMAN WHOEVER SHE IS TRYING TO HINT THAT OBAMA TALKS TOO LONG! WELL YES HE DOES, BUT AT LEAST HE SAYS THINGS OF SUBSTANCE AND WHEN YOU SIZE HIM UP TO McCAIN YOU WILL FIND THAT WHAT HE HAS TO SAY IS NOT RIDDLED WITH FLAT OUT LIES! HE IS GIVING VERY THOUGHTFUL ANSWERS, NOT A BUNCH OF OFF THE TOP OF THE HEAD ADVASIVE CRAP THAT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WHEN THE NEXT WIND BLOWS!
Serving the military is everyone that wants to go responsibilty. Why should some go and die and other stay home because they select to be with the person of the same sex. That is not fair to stay safe at home because you are gay. In that case no one has to dodge the draft by going to Canada they just need to say that they are gay. In my opinion and this is a little out there but all the gang bangers who want to be killers should have to go too. Why should they get three meals and a cot and free health care and everyone else fight to protect the country. If they want to be killers send them to fight.
i want to answer about the pig /lipstick comment, Ladies that is just a figure of speech in fact it was shown that Sen. McCain has said that same comment 3 times to Sen. Obama 2. what strikes me funny is when Gov Palin said the bulldog/lipstick quote nothing was said about her playing the sexist card but if Sen Obama say any thing about african american he is accoused of playing the race card. what should be good for goose should be good for the gander