(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.
I love lofty and intelligent and thoughtful too.... but we live in an American Idol time...I think too many people on both sides!!!!!! think this is an American Idol show....I just don't in my heart think people get it.
yada, yada, yada. Obama would make a great TV President.
I agree, Obama is a smooth talker. We haven't been used to that in the last 8 yrs, nice to see someone who can put sentences together! lol
ROLAND!!!! Do you think that Obama can use this forum to "retool" his campaign and kind of start off fresh with his message tomorrow or do you think this forum will not chage things for Obama? Thanks in advance!
CNN! Please post this!
This is our next President...if America gets its head out of the sand!!!
Candy its a win or lose. And Obama will WIN!! Now and in November!
Is Obama a part of Washington?? I think he is the last time I looked. Before that, was part of Springfield in Illinois. Since I live here I know the effects of a democrat in Power... TAX TAX TAX
Service comes from conviction. Service is an individual choice. Government should function to do service all of us, a proud and working military and create universla health care as an alienable right.
I was very disappointed with the interview of Palin. OK, we expect to some extent, answers in a can but this was a big can of answers. I was not impressed nor was I convinced in her ability to be VP let alone Pres. Therefore, I am confident that McCain lacks decision making skills. I can't support him.
My question is, did Charlie have to give the list of questions to Palin/McCain prior to the interview?
Thank you Roland for your wonderful suggestion about how to pressure candidates to avoid negative campaigning. In the Internet age, it would be so easy to do... Roland, the people are so anygry about how this campaign is being run (Dems as wolves,.. ?!) that all it would take would for you to mention it on a CNN Strategy session and people will heed the call!
Roland... you have a great opportunity to make a dent in negative advertising!
This is a bit delayed in response, but I was interested by McCain talking about letting ROTC on Columbia's campus. From what I understand, private universities have a right to refuse military presence on their campus, but lose some federal funding as a result. I know that Yale always has huge protest because the "don't ask, don't tell" policy of the military is directly contrary to the policy of Yale and many other universities. Universities should not be expected to sacrifice their beliefs that make them some of the leading educating facilities in the world, and in order to increase service opportunities, other solutions must be sought.
Another Great Answer With SPecifics
Obama is really doing a great job in the forum.
I listened to the suggestion that students volunteer in exchange for tuition incentives and it occurs to me that welfare and food stamp recipients might volunteer in exchange for the benefits they receive.
Obama seems more real.. and like he deeply cares.. and I can tell when someone is just saying things to just say things and when they are being genuine.. Obama is being genuine
Obama has a clear advantage tonight. He heard the questions and McCain's answers. He had time, however limited, to think about his own answers. I'd be surprised if his answers weren't clear given the advantage.
Myriam and Rand et al...I am sorry that you heard specifics from McCain and generalizations from Obama. We must not be listening to the same forum. I do not have a party affiliation but I want to be aligned with someone who is not afraid to put out details, something I can buy into. Obama does this not only because he has detailed positions (they are on his website) about the key issues for this election but also because he is not afraid of offending his base and his supporters. McCain tonight had every opportunity to be specific but all I heard was should, could, might...that is not very "maverick"...
"Anyone can be president, just check the requirements in the constitution. 1. Age 35 or over. 2. Born in the USA. 3. Can't be in the active military. That's it. What is all the fuss about qualifications? If the founders wanted more they would have spelled it out. Palin meets the requirements."
CORRECT! thank you george
And McCain gives straight answers? Gee wiz! All we do is complain about everything!!! This is why we can't see eye to eye–because we're always ripping each other apart.
I wish Sentor Obama would acknowledge that AFFIRMATIVE ACTION isn't working/its discriminating against young people like me who are highly educated but get denied employment because of employers wanting to hire based on race and sex and not a person's qualifications.
I have not been listening to the interviews, however chose this forum to make a comment. Why do the democrats continue to fool the American people with their hype for socialized medicine? Everyone in the country, including those here illegally are able to obtain healthcare already. Has Senator Obama and Hilary forgotten about EMTALA??
Yeah, I do have to agree Obama is long-winded.
How about cleaning out the failing teachers? Is he ready to take on his union friends to get them out of the classroom. Don"t think so–talk won't improve schools for the kids.
my take on the presidential election is basically between the have and the have nots. I'm a have not who whole hearted believes in the constitution and the right to or not have religion. Guess that rules out the republicans. I used to be a proud republican, till the party turned to this elitest looking thing it does now. I would consider myself now a free voting human being. I will never again subscribe to any party. I reserve the right to say NO!
Ms. Buchanan can you please attempt to be objective if that is at all possible for you?