Democrats Talk IT

They're no longer in the White House--but don't worry. You'll find plenty of Democrats at your local computer conference

The Clinton administration may be out of the White House, but it's not out of work--thanks in part to speaking engagements on the technology conference circuit. The most recent example: Al Gore's keynote, Tuesday, at the Association of Communications Enterprises' (ASCENT) Spring Conference & Exhibition.

The Dallas event put Gore squarely in George Bush territory, and also had him following in Dubya's footsteps--he was the keynote speaker at the same conference two years ago. Gore, who helped write the '96 telecom act, spoke about the need for the FCC to continue to foster competition, an ASCENT spokeswoman said. But Gore wasn't all business--he couldn't resist making a few election jokes. "I think people were surprised at how humorous he really is," the spokeswoman said.

Gore is not the only Democrat out there talking tech. Some other IT events, past and future, with Clinton-era headliners:

Bill Clinton: He kicked off Oracle's AppsWorld convention this year on President's Day, and reportedly received $100,000. Bill's appearance generated some controversy, since his administration's anti-trust suit against The Other Bill was viewed as a boon for Oracle.

Clinton will also be keynoting at the Online Learning Conference Monday, Oct. 1, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. "No administration in the past 25 years has done more for the appropriate application of technology for learning than the Clinton administration," says Philip Jones, conference director at VNU Business Media, which sponsors the E-learning show. Jones points out that several key initiatives for E-learning standards occurred during Clinton's watch, including the Department of Defense's Advanced Distributed Learning initiative.

Madeleine K. Albright: The PeopleSoft Leadership Summit 2001, to be held June 4 in Las Vegas, will not only include the unveiling of the new PeopleSoft 8 customer-relationship management product, but also a keynote from Albright. "PeopleSoft is growing exponentially worldwide, and who better to speak about global collaboration than the former secretary of state?" says a company spokesman.

Robert Reich: The former secretary of labor discussed how technology affects human resources at the e-HR Future Show, held at the Disneyland Hotel earlier this month.

Robert Rubin: In his InternetWorld keynote last October, the former secretary of treasury warned attendees that technology stocks were overvalued. Hmmm... Should we have listened more closely?