Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gore Plans Convention as a 'Baton Passing' Gesture from Clinton Talk Balances New Plans, Strengths of Administration

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gore Plans Convention as a 'Baton Passing' Gesture from Clinton Talk Balances New Plans, Strengths of Administration

Article excerpt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vice President Al Gore has set a schedule for his nominating convention that features a "symbolic passing of the baton" from President Clinton.

The Los Angeles convention, beginning Aug. 14, will be important to Gore's effort to refine his image and spell out a message that's different from Clinton's without breaking with the administration. That's traditionally a tricky task for a vice president trying to succeed to the White House.

Gore flew to Tennessee yesterday but had no public events there.

With attention increasingly focused on then upcoming GOP convention, Gore was focusing on raising money for Democrats today, speaking at Democratic National Committee fund-raising events in New Jersey and New York, before heading to the key battleground state of Michigan.

Campaign aides, meanwhile, disclosed plans for a convention with daily themes echoing the message that Gore will make in campaign stops as he works his way across the country.

SIERRA CLUB APPROVAL

Also yesterday, Gore won the endorsement of the Sierra Club.

"Our members believe that a vote for Gore is the best way to protect our families from pollution and safeguard our nation's landscapes for future generations to enjoy," Robert Cox, president of the 600,000-member environmental group, said in a statement.

Gore accepted an endorsement in May from the League of Conservation Voters, a political umbrella group representing 9 million members of various environmental organizations.

Not all environmentalists support the vice president. In fact, Sierra Club board member Michael Dorsey, in an internal e-mail sent eight months ago and released in May by the Republican National Committee, criticized Gore's environmental record. He also urged his colleagues to endorse Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, who has risen in the national polls in recent weeks, presumably cutting into Gore's support.

GEARING UP FOR THE SHOW

Gore, who was spending a quiet Saturday in Nashville, Tenn., is to arrive at the convention on Aug. 16. Aides offered a unique twist for his crucial acceptance speech Aug. 17: He will be introduced by his wife, Tipper. …

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