It was a great understatement when Michael Barone wrote in "The Battle of Party Themes" [September 15-22] "neither party has set out its programs clearly (or characterized the other size fairly)."
People act and lead in accordance with what they believe. Campaign promises and intentions are a much poorer indication of future actions than the ways the candidates have voted and acted in the past. Their actions would show what they believe. It would help voters if U.S. News would give us the voting/acting records of the candidates. A plain listing would be helpful, but since the names of various bills might be familiar, a one or two line statement on the bills would make it even more valuable.
John R. Carman
Salem , N.J. "The Battle of Party Themes" can be summed up with the following points: Does negotiating an oil deal translate into a successful record for a vice presidential candidate? Hardly. Does a rapid response to Gusatav from Bush erase six years of atrocities and bugling in Iraq? How embarrassing! Are there many Americans who have not heard of a national health insurance option? Perhaps they live in a cave. In Iraq, how long have we been told that "victory is in sight?" Remember "mission accomplished?" And lastly, drilling for more oil is better than developing renewable energy sources. Only Exxon and Barone think so.
Weehawken , N.J.