Sparks flew when the 10 Democrats vying for the presidential nomination met for a debate in New York City last week. But it was a lagging candidate, the REV. AL SHARPTON, who used his hometown platform to get off the best lines. "Don't be defensive about just joining the party," he counseled General Wesley Clark, the latest entrant. "It's better to be a new Democrat that's a real Democrat than a lot of old Democrats up here that have been acting like Republicans all along." Sharpton got the loudest applause of the day.