Clinton, Gore will be guests when Democrats meet in July


President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore will be the featured guests at a gathering of the Democratic Leadership Council in Baltimore next month, the group announced yesterday.

The centrist DLC's "national conversation" is expected to attract more than 150 Democratic officials from around the country to discuss issues.

Clinton, one of the early leaders of the DLC, is to participate in an interactive discussion on the Internet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair July 14. Organizers said about 50,000 Internet users will be able to log on with the two leaders.

Clinton is not scheduled to address the group but might make time to do so, organizers said.

Gore, the likely Democratic nominee for president, is to speak to the group July 15.

This is the second year in a row that the DLC has brought its national event to Baltimore, a tribute in part to the popularity of Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in national Democratic circles, officials said.

"When I go around the country, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is one of the most sought-after Democratic leaders," DLC President Al From said at a news conference in Locust Point yesterday.

Townsend will be co-chairman of the two-day event with Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley.

O'Malley said he looks forward to meeting with officials from around the country. "We'll have a chance to show off what we're doing in Baltimore," the mayor said.

Issues to be discussed include suburban sprawl, crime and online government services.

One panel discussion will tackle "What's the Difference between a New Democrat and a Compassionate Conservative?" The latter refers to the philosophy championed by the likely Republican presidential nominee, Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

From said the conference will be light on the nuts and bolts of politics.

"We're not going to teach people about how to run campaigns," From said. "It's about new ideas."

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