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Bill Clinton espouses global issues at Salesforce.com conference

Paul Krill | Dec. 10, 2010
The former President made a plea to fight climate change, and reflected on how the Internet has grown and cell phones shrunk in size since his inauguration

Clinton acknowledged the pros and cons of being an ex-President: "The great thing about being a former President is you can say whatever you want. The sad thing is nobody cares anymore."

Clinton's arrival at the event was delayed an hour by bad weather. To fill the gap before the start of Clinton's presentation, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff held a talk onstage with singer Stevie Wonder, who preached a message of unity and said his blindness actually has been a blessing. "The reason I can say it is I believe that in my life, it has allowed me to have a very objective point of view,"  said Wonder, citing the issue of race as an area where this objectivity has manifested itself.

Clinton noted the irony in following Wonder onstage: "After a lifetime as a mediocre musician, I never thought that Stevie Wonder would be the opening act for me."

Also at Dreamforce on Wednesday, Benioff made clear his irritation with Microsoft for trying to upstage the conference by having Segway riders promote Microsoft Dynamics Online outside the event. The Segways featured signs saying, "I didn't get forced," a reference to Salesforce.com technology. To drive home his point, Benioff brought onstage the man who appears in Microsoft's sign and ad, and asked him to come back to Salesforce.com. The man, referred to as Bernard, said "yes" and high-fived Benioff before leaving the stage.

 

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