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Political chatter from DC and NYC, the amNewYork way

Obama/McCain at ServiceNation: Firmer footing indeed

Some of what Obama said:

On his time as a community organizer: "It taught me that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. With all due respect to the president of this university it was the best education I ever had."

"Young people will not reach their full potential until they hitch they wagon to something bigger."

"Part of my job as president is to make government cool...

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Obama/McCain at ServiceNation: An observation

A few weeks ago when these two met at Saddleback Church for a similar forum, it a remarked that it was something of a "home game" for Sen. McCain because he was speaking before a largely sympathetic audience. Now the roles are reversed, and not just because Obama is a Columbia Lion. He, and Democrats in general, are on much firmer footing talking about community service/organizing....

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Obama/McCain at ServiceNation: Homecoming

Obama is greeted rapturously by the audience.

"I've got a slight home field advantage," he said. "This is my alma mater."

He went on to talk about how much the neighborhood has changed since he lived there in the 1980s.

"I was looking at some of these apartments. I could afford them then, I don't think I could now."...

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Obama/McCain at ServiceNation: They meet!

Obama and McCain just shook hands on stage. They give a quick hug, more like a mutual backpat, and then McCain shot a thumbs-up at the moderators and scooted off stage.

Umm ... awkward ......

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Obama/McCain at ServiceNation: About those community organizers

You knew it would come up. The GOPers spent a lot of time making fun of Obama's time as a community organizer at their convention.

McCain gamely tried to walk it back.

"First of all this is a tough business" he said, adding that the campaign wouldn't have become so negative "if Sen. Obama had accepted my request to appear at town halls all over America has John Kennedy and Barry Goldwater...

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Obama/McCain at ServiceNation: Military

The conversation moves on to more familiar territory for the Arizona senator when the moderators add joining the military to way people can serve.

He adds RNC-style red meat:

"I'm proud my daughter graduated from this school ... but do you know this school won't allow ROTC on campus ... I would hope these universities would re-examine that policy."...

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Obama/McCain at ServiceNation: McCain doesn't heart Bush

McCain: "I think [Americans] are ready to turn the page in January."

Lest there be any doubt where he stands on change....

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Obama/McCain at ServiceNation: McCain's opener

I think he said "serve" or "service" a dozen times in his first answer. Would love to see one of those word clouds about this tomorrow....

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ServiceNation Live Blog: Paterson

Gov. David Paterson kicks things off from the political standpoint and is received warmly, especially with the news that he will elevate to a Cabinet level the position for national and community service.

Touches upon the Roosevelts, FDNY 9/11 rescuers and an old lady who helped him find his way around uptown one afternoon.

Says nice things about McCain, too, despite saying (at the DNC)...

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ServiceNation Live Blog: The crowd gathers, Part II

(Credit: Politirazzi)

The makeshift newsroom in Low Library...

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