(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.
Wow guys... does Senator McCain have 2 personalities? He was awesome in the beginning. When he got the nomination, something happened to him and he become a totally different person. Tonight he got his awesome personality back. If he becomes the President. which personality of his will dominate?
I usually hesitate to post on blogs, but this time I can't resist. While I applaud Senator Obama for his community service, it pales in comparison John McCain's military service and that of any serviceman or woman. To applaud McCain is not a "slam" to Obama, he can take his kudos elsewhere. When it comes ot service, he takes a back seat.
Lt Col A (Retired)
Honestly if I am going to take a risk on my children's future I would rather take a risk with the community organizer that gets what the little person is experiencing because he has been in those trenches instead of the person who has been in the Senate longer than I have been alive and done nothing spectacular.
Roland.. Your an idiot. I guess every government WORKER is on Welfare?? Tell that to the president, all the senators and every military family...
Mccain always seem tight when he speeck infront of big crowds.
Most teachers are truly dedicated. I am so sick of reading the meme that teachers are failing. The system is failing teachers.
With all his humble beginning, his academic excellence, his family oriented nature, sober mind and eloquence plus high caliber of integrity – Obama should be poised to win this race. But most people are in denial about the race factor in this race for the white house.
As a high school student, I just hope America can overcame this factor for the sake of my future. Only then will be be able to elect a great leader for our country who will go on to transform this world around!
Community organizing... the toughest job you could ever have! I did it,too for a while. Knocking on doors... working to get the trust of the community... guiding the disenfrachised to bring out their best and take on the power structure. Hard work!
McCain's emphasis was alternatives to government when it came to facilitating service.
Obama is all about government initiated service programs.
So would everyone be totally ok with Palin if she was running the country? She will only be a heartbeat away if McCain wins. She doesnt even know that Georgia and Ukraine are not part of NATO. She is so scripted it kills me! Please people wake up. All you have to do is elect Obama president and Republicans in the congress. Then we can have checks and balances
The only thing I have in common with Sarah Palin is that we both have ovaries. I am appalled that the citizens of this country appear enthralled with her. It is truly frightening that our countrymen and women are so shallow as to swallow this vaudeville act hook, line and sinker.
The media is doing a disservice to the public by handling her with kid gloves.
I am disgusted by women coming to her defense. She put herself in this position and if you are going to "drink with the big boys, you'd better be able to get up with them in the morning." I say, let loose the Kraken!
The republicans using the old lipstick on a pig thing is so egregious, it is bound to bite them.
Why didn't anyone comment on McCain's LACK of a US flag on his lapel today when visiting the WTC site?
If there is one person that I would trust to improve education in this country, it is Obama.
I am an independent, and to me, this is an important forum. Mr. McCain seems so out of touch. A bigger military as soon as possible??? We are already the most powerful country on earth, but leading with might hasn't made us strong. Has he not seen what that outdated idea has done to our country and the world? We just have more enemies and have lost our standing in the world. Might doesn't make right. We need leaders in the world, not more generals. He just seems so old and outdated. I used to be so impressed by him too.
I agree with you Roland
Bay, you guys need to get off the "all talk" bandwagon. It's old and that's ALL the GOP has with Palin on the ticket.
Hearing McCains answers isn't critical regarding service. Keep in mind this was Obama's craft (community service) after college and after law school. McCain's background isn't national service from a civilian standpoint as many of the potential voters experience.
roland! they wont post any of my comments. isit because im a whiteboy?
Bay, do you like anything about Obama?
I'm tired of Bay's comments disparaging Obama at an event that's supposedly nonpartisan. We're supposed to be critical of BOTH candidates' platforms and take a closer look at their proposals to help the country capture a stronger sense of service. This is an event for ideas and proposals, not political scoring.
Thanks but no thanks, Bay. I'd rather make up my own mind about what Obama and McCain have to say. And based on tonight's event, it seems like the only person who has offered a detailed, well-crafted argument in all service fields is Obama.
You can continue scoring political points now.
Obama is not lofty. Any black man that speaks well and intelligently is seen by some whites as lofty and elite. Obama worked hard to get where he is and should be proud of his accomplishments.
Roland you are my hero! You just tell it like it is.
I can save you a lot of time, "change" ,"hope","stick it to the rich" next question please.
We are not picking a candidate based on how presidential he look but rather because he has an open mind and is willing try to do something different.