(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.
Why isn't anyone recalling the election of 200? To me McCain proved his metal than... he was well on his way to beating out Bush but the GOP Party bosses called him in and McCain folded! So all his talk about being his own man is pure BS... period
My family came to this country in Oct 1960 fleeing a communist oppressive regime. I was 3 years old. The US government gave us peanut butter; powdered eggs, powdered milk, cheddar cheese and other essentials to help us get started. To this day I really do not like peanut butter; I had my fill early on in life. This country took care of us and I have never, ever forgotten that. I feel many Americans are taking this country for granted and have lost sight of what a great place this is. Let’s try to work together to keep it going a while longer, please. I really enjoy living here.
Girlpower, no one was suggesting they would vote for Obama based soley on his look or sound, they are just observations. They both look and sound like politicians.
P.S. The someone with years of "experience" will strip women of their "girlpower" to decide what is right for their own bodies all the while he talks about government getting out of the way of citizens. Is that who you want leading your country?
It sickens me that everybody actually believes that John McCain, Sarah Palin and the Rebulicans are the party of change. The real change is Obama! he picked biden for a reason to back him up when Mcbush and Palin try to lie to the american people. People need to wake up in this country and make a diffence and but a real man of change. McCain is not the problem. I say his if anything happens to him do you really believe in Palin's ability to not ruin this country?
Great Job Sen. Obama-
specific, clear and concise. He's making many statements that can turn into those 30-second bites that will hook people.
Girlpower, the situation that you speak of is happening with Sarah Palin, not Obama.
Good one, Roland!
I can't believe that you are actually feeding Senator Obama some of the answers that Senator McCain gave to your questions. On the Rick Warren Forum, neither candidate had the advantage of knowing the answers of the other candidate.
However, perhaps it is naive of me to think that CNN could provide a level playing field.
Annonymous LT. colonel Rt.
McCain's service to our country is respected by all in America witht he highest honor and respect. but...... My husband is in the military and served twice in Iraq so far....... Does that mean he is qualified to be president?
I dont think many could do what alot of inner city people do....
Obama just hit a grand slam with me. Supports military !!
uhmmm..did obama just say he is for a compulsory draft?
Obama is right. My husband couldn't get anyone to hire him in 2005 when he got out of the military and he fought in Iraq- he felt forgotten and he also has a college degree. It was very sad and we lived on our savings until we got work.
If McCain and Obama are proud of their service...then be humble about it by not boasting. That is a true humble servant. I don't see it in either of these guys. They are just prideful and playing to our emotions.
I agree, he is talking about sacrifice for the American people, something that we have lacked during this time of war.
I am a communitty organizer and I did not take offense to comments made at the RNC because being a community organizer does not make me ready to be president. It is a valuable experience but not a good qualification to be president.
And McCain did not steal change he has actively done it by reaching across the isle. What change is to most people is having our government work together and gettin rid of the partisan bickering. Obama has done some but very little working across the isle.
Everyone says McCain voted his party line 90% but Barack voted his party line 97%. Some years McCaing was only around 60% party line. He crosses it when he thinks it benifits the American people.
i want to be free.....so i will volunteer to defend the weak who also want to be free.
and the selfish
I agree with Rusty, his long winded answers at ties goes of message
Hey Mr. Anonymous Lt Col A (Retired), I also am a retiree and my husband a Lt Col (Retired), I do not agree with you that the military service is more honorable. John McCain has opposed a lot of the funding necessary for veterans and he first handedly knows what its like to be a veteran. He plays on his veteran and POW experience only to get the sympathy vote. If you ask him a question about the economy he will respond with a comment about his years as a POW. It's very disgusting and a slap in the face for us that did serve as well.
Lieutenant, not a small point, but the comparison of community service of Obama was versus Palin's service as mayor of a tiny town, not against military service of gents like yourself. I think Obama has consistently praised the military service of McCain, and has spoken out far more than the present administration of Bush/McCain that our veterans need to be given greater rewards for their service and firmer and broader support when they return from their duties.
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
Speaking of not knowing of which you speak...ever spent a day, much less five and a half years being tortured in a POW camp, Roland? I'd say that most reasonable people would say that, yes, that is in fact a greater service than any act performed in even the most dangerous of US cities. Very nice, calling someone who served in the miltary – maybe in combat – part of the problem because HE doesn't have YOUR experience.
This is the McCain mystic...just because he served like millions of others...it doesnt make him more qualified for President!!!
The President is not a General...he needs to lead a country not a brigade!!!!
I guess Bay thinks community organizers aren't important either.
The only way this country seems to get BIG things done is when faced with a tragedy that is so epic in proportion, that people like Bay, Pat and THE IDEOLOGUES ON THE LEFT AND RIGHT take of their partison hats, cease to struggle for power and COME TOGETHER.
At the root of the progress America has made socially, economically and militarily lies THE COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS...
Obama speaks about plans and has vision on where this country should be. McCain has no plan and has no vision. McCain jumped on the "Change" bandwagon because he knew that he had to copy Obama's visions in order to capture part of his momentum.
BTW, I'm sick of CNN jumping on the Palin bandwagon, too.
Now that we had this forum at Columbia University which was Obama's alma mater and probably not unbiased towards him, can we expect the next forum at the United States Naval Academy, which graduated Mc Cain?