(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.
Hey you people who want McCain to win so Hillary can run in 2012- fat chance, unles Vice President Palin chooses not to run......
Obama is thought and action. Just what we need right now. I don't want someone telling me everything is okay when I know it's not , like a drunk uncle ! I want a candidate that thinks through something, can create discussion, then provoke action. Sorry , Uncle John , but I feel a lot safer with a President Obama.
Does voting "present" 130 times constitute as National Service. The President of the United States does not have the option of voting "present" on tough issues. He may be ready to author a third book, but clearly he is not ready to lead.
What disturbs me most about McCain is his political cowardice. He had the opportunity - the call of destiny - to save this country from the last 8 years. He should have persevered in the 2000 Republican primaries, having started so well, and fought against the tactics of Rove. Shedding a tear and backing out of a stiff fight is not the mark of a leader, nothwithstanding his honorable military service and personal sacrifice for our country. What I'm referring to here is political heart. I cannot feel that he deserves a chance at the presidency after all the dust settles from the last 8 years.
If you do not want your governement to help solve some of the problems-who will?
I understand that the rich would prefer the gov. to stay out of there business-but the govt was put in place for ALL...I know you would prefer to hide the poor & misfortunate-but they are a reality-I have yet to see the rich eager to help.
Bill, the striking difference is likely down to Obama understanding the ROOT levels better ─ after his community organizing when he was much younger.
Business don't get involved in things without proper financial/image gain.
Will communities take the lead on programmes out of their own? Highly unlikely and Obama's direct experience probably kicks in here.
That leaves one viable option: lead from the Government, action by the Communities.
Obama, lets count how many times he says I, I graduated, I chose the latter, I made 12,000 a year oh please...you can't run the country from a Harvard textbook..Mr. I
I'm completely for Obama but i would love to see him agree to the town hall meetings with john McCain.
Bill S. I also noticed that McCain almost said "so what" and thumbed his nose @ the entire notion of his campaign's "put-down" of community organizers.
Roland, tell that "dude" that paying the Governor of Alaska $300 of per diem a day to sit at home is also welfare that was paid by the taxpayers.
If McCanin wants to take his applaud on service he needs to stop acting as if he was the only POW. There were over 500 others when he was there and many there longer than him . It is not do take away form what he has done. But he is not the only soldier to give up their life.
go obama what a difference mccain really does not get it
BAY: Don"t think so–talk won't improve schools for the kids.
Yeah no kidding. No Child Left Behind was all talk and no action and the kids have suffered for it. It's time to let the Dems have a chance.
Excellent point Roland. See, this is what Republicans do–double talk to make their point and give the impression that government spending needs to be controlled. While they do the same thing.
I think even though Obama heard his statements he is going to reflect on his own policies and give McCain credit where he agrees with him.
Obama should consider converting his Campaign for Change volunteer network into a community service organization, whether he is elected or not. He has built up a ground force of millions, and that is a powerful force indeed.
I have no doubt that he has something like this in his plans. No doubt.
I love you Roland
there I said it
When I pull the lever for Obama I will be thinking of you!
Why was McCain so nervous tonight? Its so odd to see him anywhere without Cindy by his side. What is up with that?
Why would I want to trust the government to do more? Except for the military keeping bombs out of my back yard, the less government the better. They should stick only to those things local or state government can't do.
Roald, pretty childish response to Lloyd. Do you reallty think Palin's family would abandon her if she weren't on her mother's health plan?
Lt Col A (Retired), I think you're part of the problem.
Trying to say that military service is greater than any other is like trying to say one sin is greater than another.
I'm sorry guy. Have you gone into some inner cities? If you don't know what you speak of, don't speak.
It is absolutely wrong for us to sit here and say that serving in the military is far more important than anything else.
I don't like that the simplicity of McCain's answers seem to be applauded by Republican commentators and some of the American public. Just because you say something quicker and louder doesn't make it right. McCain's answers in both of the forums that I have seen have often been vague, off-topic, or just plain wrong. Obama's ideas often take longer to articulate because they are the stuff of actual substance. This is not a bad thing.
A community energy group. That new! I wan to know more.
Are there any important issues out there today. Perhaps a $5 trillion, that's 5,000 billion dollar bills, bailout of Fannie and Freddie Mac. How will the government cover this increase in the debt load? What about energy and energy independence? What specifically, specifically are their plans to improve this situation? How about asking whether they will by ourselves or in concert with Israel strike Iran? The dollar has fallen by about 33% in value over the last 5 years, what are the candidates plans to shore up the value of the dollar, or are they in favor of a weak dollar? Oh well why bother with these inconsequential issues, when we can ask if they think the Peace Corps has been a force for good in the world!
I would dare to venture a guess that Obama listened intently to Joh McCain's answers...he is very good at always using someone elses answers as his own just by embroidering them a bit. Nothing new and unique ever comes from him
Right on point Roland.
I like Barack Obama because he brings a different perspective to the table. A perspective that I have never seen in my lifetime. I love and respect the message of unity and diversity. I believe because of his community organization background this makes him more in touch with our struggles as American's. The present powers and Republican Party truly do not understand our challenges.