September 11th, 2008
08:20 PM ET
10 years ago

Live-blogging with The Best Political Team

Weigh in with CNN's analysts and contributors.

Weigh in with CNN's analysts and contributors.

(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.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (4,056 Responses)
  1. AJ

    How can McCain understand what Americans are going through while being divorced from their day to day lives? I barely heard another word he said after that. I was stunned that he went there. Aren't you?

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  2. Boone , NC

    O'Neal –
    Open your eyes and ears. Our nation is broken and at the level of the individual. We are divided into two parties that refuse to see any good in the other, and whose views are often inconsistent within the partiy. Republicans claim the high ethical road, yet turn a blind eye at teen pregnancy, misuse of power, dishonesty in ads, etc when it works in their favor. It' all about labels – either Demo or Repub. How can anyone be offended by anything Obama says except that he may be in a different party. Fortunately, that attitude is what Obama wants to put behind us.

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  3. Matt Dougan


    You are a riot! Way to go on the home birth point, I didn't think of that!

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |

    Very True Roland

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  5. anon

    No surprise at the heated welcome for Mr. Obama at a University where unbridled liberalism is taught as doctrine and encouraged as a mark of citizenship. Also not surprised at the vocal outbursts and other selfish crowd behaviors. Is this a pep rally or a public forum?

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  6. CC

    I'm sure there will be an outrageous, false, demeaning ad coming soon filled with Obama soundbites that cross that nasty line, again by the Republicans to keep this about "personalities" and not about the real issues that most of have to deal with daily. This is a time in our country needs all of us reaching out to one another, to lift up those that need a hand.

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  7. Catherine

    How is anyone going to stand up to McCain's military service? Being a POW and living through it to resume the life he has led is exemplary. However, it doesn't mean that he should be elected President. Catherine

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  8. rusty

    Obama is missing an opportunity on this military question.

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  9. Russell

    Why is everyone worrying about the fairness of the questioning? Is there some trick being performed here?

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  10. Kevin

    No matter what direction the presidency goes it will be in one manner. It's not going to get better its the same thing as in the past. If Senators and Congressmen had to work for minimum wage do you think they would want the job? Being a senator, Congressman and President means you get money power and the chance to control or manipulate the current system to the ideas of what they feel or think is best for us. There may be some who think they are there for freedom. Whats more important. This country or the rest of the world. The people in this country or the rest of the worlds population. Should we go and attack others in another country or help our own here. How far should we take it after 911. Do we need to control the world in the middle east because of 911. We have spent enough money on the war to give every person in this country over 1 million dollars. What would that do for the economy?

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  11. Carlette Nucilli

    This discussion going on right now is a joke! Why don't they just tell Obama all the answers. Just about every time they ask him a question they tell him what McCain said. If you notice that when they do not give him what McCain said he stumbles a bit. When they give him the answer he has a better time of answering the questions. Well here is one more "Lets all vote for Obama yea oh goodness he is smart". Am I being a bit condescending? You bet ya! I am so sick of seeing the one sided media. Guess what you liberal morons you don't decide who I vote for. As a intelligent women with a mind of my own I will make that decision. And to think I was planing on voting for Obama. That is all changing at this point. I am now re looking at MY and I say once again MY vote.

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  12. AP (ATL)

    It seems to me that Obama may believe that Government can be a banner or beacon for community groups. I don't think he means making big government, I am thinking its somewhere between personal or community initiative and government support (maybe in the form of grants or scholarships and other incentives?) He needs to make that clearer...

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  13. Robert

    If Obama heard McCain's portion, it makes up for the cone of silence that wasn't when they both appeared at that church ...

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  14. Joec87

    Health care is a right not a privlage.

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  15. Steve K

    Good One jpr13.....YOUR RIGHT ON!

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |

    The talk around town is that Barrack Obama's
    comment about "lipstick" is not really meant for Sarah rather it is meant as a compliment to his wife
    Michelle Obama.

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  17. jeanie


    Not everyone can join the military. community service is something every one should be doing. People can become involved for a lifetime. There is no greater reward than each of us lifting up our fellow man or woman

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  18. Garrett

    I think the reason is it hard to get rid of bad teachers is because it is difficult to identify bad teachers and prove that they are bad.

    September 11, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  19. lynn

    Please read both men's policy papers on community service. They answer many of the questions people are asking. CNN would do a great "service" by making these available.

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  20. David in Detroit

    Unions sometimes hold on to bad teachers the same way we sometimes might let a guilty person out of jail in error: Its an unfortunate situation, but better than having good hardworking people walked upon and treated unfairly. Also, coming from a higher-ed teaching union, if both sides construct a contract that has meaningful steps in how/why to terminate an employee, the bad ones do get booted. Most unions don't want useless employees making the rest look bad, just like management.

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  21. cj

    LT COL. I am not minimizing John McCains service to his county, but isn't interestin that his legacy of military service stopped at his children? I would not equate Obama's service to McCains, but I would not just limit it to a "great community organizer". Especially since McCain left his crippled wife for a rich beauty queen. Noble?

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  22. Pete

    I am tired of this talk about community organisers. Remember what the first response of the Obama campain was, when Palin was introduced.
    " Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency," said Obama spox Bill Burton. "

    the Obama campaign started this by denegrading the services of small town mayors
    People are so fickle!

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  23. Donald Stuckey

    I like the fact that he talks a lot about his grandfather's service in Patton's army during the second world war. This gives him a lot of credibility with veterans and current active-duty members of the military.

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  24. EW

    I hope that Americans will reject the politics of smears and distractions and realize that a vote for Mccain and Palin will set our country back and continue the same failure and disrespect that we have earned over the past eight years.

    Shame on John McCain for such a dishonest campaign. It's filled with flat out lies about Senator Obama's record.

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  25. Kap

    ROLAND I admire community organizers, BUT you dont think that makes you qualified to be president do you? That to me was what I hope the republicans were getting at during the convention.

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
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