September 11th, 2008
08:20 PM ET
6 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. Dorrian Wallace

    i'm sorry anonymous but being a soldier is one thing as you keep america safe from outsiders but organizers keep america safe from the inside and inner america,a strong america is far greater than a weapon on the end of a hand,buts thats my opinion

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  2. Wayne M

    Nicely stated Roland people who are losing their home sdont get bailed out just the Rich investors who made errors and wont take responsibility for their miscalculations.

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  3. Mississippi Man

    I really miss Tim Russert. Letting McCain slide on "negative" ads, while it should be pointed out that 80% of his tv ads in August alone was negative.

    Is it just me or is media more worried about maintaining "good" access to politicians then calling them out on their behavior.

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

    The "big government" argument does not hold water any longer. NEWSFLASH, we are NEVER going back to small government. What we need to vote for is smart and accountable government, because the days of small government are over. Long over.......Always makes me chuckle when Republicans paint this picture of small government euphoria, yet criticize liberals for being idealistic. Large government is reality.

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

    Hey Roland remind Lloyd that Alaska is basically a welfare state they are all on welfare

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  6. Red State Tex

    Can Obama talk about anything without pandering? Talks about all the great things He and Government can do for you....(what he will do for the military)

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  7. Cynthia Nashville

    I'm sorry but was I the only one that felt as though McCain was hinting towards a Draft? I am getting the impression from the Republicans that my service as an everday American is invaluable to my country unless I join the military then I'm redeemed as true patriot. Why is that so?

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  8. Christian, Tampa FL

    I do not accept the notion that military service is the greatest service or the only service. It is valuable and noble and respectable, but so are firefighters, doctors, emergency workers, police, community organizers, teachers, diplomats, and public servants.

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

    I know Sarah is ready for whatever destiny throws at her. She is a woman of vision who sees clearly in black and white, right and wrong. That is applicable to ALL of life and Foreign relations! We cannot abandon Georgia, for example, because they have proven to sacrifice to ally ourselves with us! That is what we call black and white morality!

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  10. Norma Minnis

    Why doesn't Obama just call volunteerism what it is: community organizing?

    How does Sarah Palin think she became Mayor: she went out and organized the community. How dare she and her party speak poorly about community organizing.

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

    I am quaified to teach high school level math. I am also retired as a computer specialist. I also believe in helping those who want to be helped for free or at least for my out of pocket expenses. I would love to help. All I need to a place to serve. Is there a place for me? I know of none currently in mt community.

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  12. Sergeant Wag

    Military Service IS greater than all other Service Roland...Without it we wouldn't have the opportunity to serve at ALL.

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  13. tiri - Boston

    As a parent of a teenager, I would very much appreciate plans making it easier or more available for kids to find ways to give back to their communities. I am fortunate to live in a city now where these types of opportunities abound, but in so many smaller communities, this is untrue.

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

    I am very concerned about the media coverage of Governor Palin. She has been made a media star and brought to the forefront of this election campaign. Yes, she has to be ready to serve as President, but we are electing John McCain or Barack Obama as President and not their running mates. I would like to see less coverage of her and more of the candidates.

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  15. Daniel Thomas

    It is undisputed that while mayor Sarah Palin hired a Washington lobbyist to get earmarked funds for tiny Wasila. With the help of the now tainted Senator Stevens she gathered the incredible sum of over $27 million. While this fact is becoming well known, it lacks perspective. I’ve not seen anyone take this next step.

    If you divide the $27,000,000 among Wasila’s 6- 7,000 or so residents at that time you get a per resident figure of about $4,000 per resident.

    So, what if every one of the 300 million residents of the United States had received pork at the same rate Sarah procured for her town?

    The total cost to the federal government of this equal distribution of pork? More than $1 Trillion. Yes, that’s $1,000,000,000,000. Almost half of the entire annual federal budget during that time to feed pork at Sarah’s level.

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  16. Randy Smythe

    Roland, I have to wait for these comments to be moderated. I'm not strictly a free-market guy.

    Corporations are just as much at fault. There has to be a better way than having government dictate or Corporations dictate.

    Which candidate would be better suited to make that happen?

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

    Why are we always hearing the redundancy of the Republican party. They clearly want to deflect the attention from the reality they have all put us in. I read above that one "Analyst" considers him on topic. His words are as empty as George Bush's head. Please say something of substance. I am begging you. One clear solution. One clear piece of truth. You and your adversary need to get over the eighth grade politics and show our country that you can take us in another direction. You voted with Bush 95% of the time and you are saying that you are a Maverick? You are not an innovative thinker. Your history proves it. Just say that you are a Republican that admits the flaws of the past and are willing to carve a new path for our country's future. None of us are stupid and are aware that Governor Palin was a despirate attempt at deflecting attention from the popular candidate.

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  18. Jim Brown

    The great thing about war: Its made up of people who kinda wanna go kill other people. So as long as people who kinda wanna kill people are going over to kill other people who also kinda wanna kill people, then all the right people are being killed and its opening up all the best parking spots.

    September 11, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  19. Bill Hodges

    MAybe we need the military to clean out the Gangs in the inner city since the local police and the community activists aren't doing the job. If it is a battle then make it just that and fight them on their own terms.

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

    Truth – Cheney used the same lipstick on a pig comment a few years ago. I watched it yesterday on YouTube! The same exact comment. I can't believe the press didn't pick up on that!! Gee, why is that comment such an issue now? Because there's a woman on the ticket.

    War with Russia – she is out of her mind!

    And as a working mother – I would be nuts to want a power job like VP of the US with 4 children at home, one who is only 3 months old with Downs Syndrome and one who is a going to be a teen mother in four months. Oh, and did you pick up on Track? He's one of those juvenile delinquent-thief-drug user-wild man, who they have to send off to Iraq to get any sense into!! Yeah, a real wholesome family, don't you think?!

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

    I agree with you Bob R., it's not very fair at all.

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

    I think the best service everyone could do for the country right now is to take out a piece of paper and write down the 5 most important issues to them. Then they should spend a few hours researching the candidate's positions on these issues and based on these facts, decide how they are going to vote. Being informed voters, and voting on issues and not hype, would be a great serive to the country.

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

    Fabian that does and will never even the playing field between the rich and poor. Really if the government is not doing anything for me and my family, why exactly should I have patriotism and honor in something that treats me unfairly??

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

    Roland and the retired Lt Col.

    I have done neither and feel complete shame. For the first time in my life I feel inspired by someone to go out and help. I'm to old for the military and my wife would kill me anyway but there is so many other problems in our society at least i can do someting

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

    Roland, no greater love hath a man than he that is willing to lay down his life for others...

    I agree, LTC A. The military is a greater service.

    CPT, Infantry, USA (ret)
    OIF 2 veteran

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