Rove and Dean headline Baltimore Speakers’ Series

It's pundit time, again.

The 2010-11 Baltimore Speaker Series line-up announced Tuesday morning features a plethora of political heavyweights, capped by a sparring match between Republican Karl Rove and Democrat Howard Dean.

The April 26 event will pit Rove, deputy chief of staff for former president George W. Bush, against Dean, the former Vermont governor and candidate for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination.

The two will make individual presentations about their experience in politics, and then respond to each other's presentation.

"We are extremely excited about the introduction of a debate with two of the most well-known and highly respected men in the political world," Bill Conrow, founder of the speaker series, said in a news release. "It is our hope that this is just the first of many powerhouse debates to come to the series in the future."

The slate of speakers includes:

Oct. 12: Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner and author Thomas Friedman will discuss world affairs, with an emphasis on the Middle East.

Nov. 2: Elizabeth Gilbert will discuss her new book, "Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage." Her previous tome, "Eat, Pray, Love" was on the New York Times best-seller list for nearly three years.

Nov. 30: Frank Abagnale's past as a master confidence man inspired the recent major release film, "Catch Me If You Can," starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio. Now he's a consultant with the U.S. government on such matters as forgery and emblezzlement.

Jan. 25: Peggy Noonan famously coined the phrase "a thousand points of light" as a speechwriter for former President George H.W. Bush. Currently a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, she has written seven books about politics, history and culture.

Feb. 24: Former South African F.W. de Klerk shares a 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela for ending apartheid and leading his nation's peaceful transition to black majority rule.

March 15: Mark Shields, a nationally syndicated columnist and weekly contributor to "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" will discuss his experiences reporting in Washington during nine presidential administrations.

April 26: Rove and Dean square off.

Most events will be held at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Tickets are sold by subscription only, and are priced between $265-$395. For more information, call 410-783-8000 or go to

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