Clinton Effort Reaps Pledges of $7.3 Billion in Global Aid Only those who promised to do something concrete about poverty, disease, conflict or climate change were invited. The entry fee for aspiring philanthropists was $15,000. Hundreds lined up for the privilege. Sir Richard Branson, the British entrepreneur, had promised to invest an estimated $3 billion of his personal profits from airlines and a rail company over the next decade in renewable energy sources. ... Various individuals, nonprofit groups and corporations β among them John and Jacque Weberg, who prospered as owners of a chain of Midwestern furniture stores, and Citigroup β cumulatively committed to spend over $1 billion on microfinance programs that provide poor people with loans, savings and insurance. Mr. Clinton yesterday asked Googleβs wealthy founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who he said βbarely looked old enough to shave,β to stand and accept his thanks for giving free advertising on their search engine to any nonprofit group or charity that made a commitment through the Clinton Global Initiative. *** I can think of another Democrat President who devoted his retirement to good works -- Jimmy Carter, but hmm, a Republican? Must be a core values sort of issue. Oh, yes, the Republicans do have Bob Dole who devoted his retirement to the issue of erectile dysfunction. Maybe that counts?