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 â€” among them John and Jacque Weberg, who prospered as owners of a chain of Midwestern furniture stores, and Citigroup â€” cumulatively committed to spend over $1 billion on microfinance programs that provide poor people with loans, savings and insurance. Mr. Clinton yesterday asked Googleâ€™s wealthy founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who he said â€śbarely looked old enough to shave,â€ť 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?