Obama, Hillary Clinton sit down to lunch
Hillary Clinton and President Obama meet for lunch on Monday, July 29, 2013. (Official White House photo by Chuck Kennedy)
July 29th, 2013
02:40 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama, Hillary Clinton sit down to lunch

Updated at 2:46 p.m. ET on 7/29

(CNN) – As the nation's top diplomat, Hillary Clinton used to be a regular presence at the White House, but since leaving her post as secretary of state earlier this year, Clinton has been busy delivering speeches and launching her post-government initiatives.

On Monday, however, Clinton made a return to the building for lunch with President Barack Obama.

Plenty of issues – ranging from health care to Middle East peace talks – could have been conversation starters for the pair, though on Monday, Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said it was "largely friendship that's on the agenda for the lunch today."

"Much has been written about over the last four years how Secretary Clinton and the president have developed not just a strong working relationship, but also a genuine friendship," Earnest said, adding the lunch was an "opportunity for the two, who saw each other on a pretty frequent basis over the course of the last four years, to have the chance to catch up."

Clinton will also meet with Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday at his residence, the Naval Observatory, Clinton aides, as well as a White House official, told CNN. One person with knowledge said the meeting was "long scheduled."

As for her Monday meeting with Obama, Earnest said the president invited Clinton to the lunch, which had grilled chicken, pasta jambalaya and salad on the menu.

Current Secretary of State John Kerry was spotted arriving at the White House around the same time as Clinton, though Earnest said he believed Kerry did not join his predecessor and Obama for the lunchtime meeting. Clinton, however, did stop by to say hello while Kerry met with National Security Adviser Susan Rice, according to Clinton aides.

The White House is preparing for Middle East peace negotiations in Washington Monday night, and Earnest indicated it was more than possible that the talks could have come up come during the meal.

"The purpose of the lunch was chiefly social, but given that the president and Secretary Clinton worked on this pretty closely together over the course of the last four years, I'd be surprised if they didn't," he said.

According to Clinton aides, the lunch came together when Obama and Clinton saw each other at the George W. Bush Presidential Center dedication ceremony in April, where Obama and former President Bill Clinton gave brief remarks. With the president and the former secretary of state having busy schedules this summer, July 29th became the agreed upon date, the aides said.

Former rivals during their marathon battle for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Obama and Clinton forged what most parties say was a strong working relationship during her years at the State Department. Since her departure, the pair met for dinner at the White House along with her husband, and for the dedication of the Bush library in Texas.

Clinton, a potential candidate for the White House in 2016, has spent her months post-State appearing at events focused on women's empowerment, as well as maintaining a healthy roster of paid speaking engagements.

She launched an initiative through the Clinton Foundation dedicated to early childhood development, and signed a book deal in April for a diplomacy-centered memoir to be released in 2014.

CNN's Jessica Yellin, Kevin Liptak and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • President Obama
soundoff (378 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Steveo wrote:

    Robert, Spaceman's scenerio would work ONLY if Condi was Speaker of the House. That position is second in line to the Presidency. Ford was in fact, Speaker of the House when Agnew resigned. Then, later as the VP he assumed the Presidency after Nixon resigned.
    Correct. Now would you please explain that to "Fair is Fair". If the VP resigns, the Speaker takes over, no if's ands or buts.

    July 29, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Good!

    Thank goodness Hillary Clinton finally cut that g-d-awful long hair she's been sporting. She actually looks human again. However, although I was a huge supporter of hers, NO WAY would I vote for her again. It's clear she has NO principles, and "hooked up" with that phony Obamawho played the race card shamefully. So just go away now, Ms.Clinton!

    July 29, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. TruthSeeker

    They are laughing at CNN and other Media about how did they fool them on Benghazi.

    July 29, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. yoonyoungjo

    LoL. If Hillary runs in 2016, the Dems are going to crush te opposition. Hopefully she runs. We need to keep, the middle class rebalancing, that O started, going. Sadly I think even Obama realized now he probably won't accomplish as much as he wanted, with the GOP deciding to say "No" to everything, while focusing their energy on mirage scandals, twisting the truth, or rather twisting lies, and trying to divert attention to slandering O. Which is really really easy to do to anybody if you put what anybody says and does under a microscope. Maybe thats why America isnt buying the BS the GOP is selling. He likes the color Red? That must mean hes in a bloods gang. Or maybe hes a satan worshipper. Or maybe it means hes a psychopath that likes blood. Or maybe he secretly wishes he was a vampire to make people bleed. Or maybe he's secretly deranged and wants to paint everything red. Or maybe he likes to scarf down raw meat. Or maybe he wants to beat himself until his skin was red too. Or maybe he can be tricked into agreeing with anything as long as its colored red. Honestly its crap. Either way its sad because a lot of what he was trying to do would have been good for everyone, even the super wealthy. Then again maybe the super wealthy want riots and social unrest. Because that's what huge economic divides and imbalances cause.

    July 29, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. yalibi

    Did Obama (we, the tax payer) have to pay $200,000 for Hillary's luncheon speaking engagement at the White House?

    July 29, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. yalibi

    Did Obama (i.e., we, the tax payer) have to dish out $200,000 for Hillary's luncheon speaking engagement at the White House?

    July 29, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    @politics bs, no wonder USA has big divorce rate fleeting attorney pigs. Every one makes mistakes. Marriage is a compromise–learn from India and Chinese guys. Do not act stupid to victimize children.

    July 29, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. kathleenvs

    Please speak for yourself only. I don't think you have the expertise to speak for "any woman. " Besides, your post is pure speculation. People have the right to make choices. If you don't agree, fine, but be careful in criticizing the choices of other people. My guess is you trust Fox News.

    July 29, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. Chris

    To Politics BS - Hillary, like most politicians, has no convictions to push aside. She is what she is and hopefully will never be our President. What should happen is a Congressional Investigation into the coverup for her work getting an Ambassador killed.

    July 29, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. Maria

    great picture... two relaxed and refined people! that is all I see

    July 29, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. Newton

    If bad politicians were gravity, this would be a black hole.....

    July 29, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Steve Obama-HOUSTON

    Two of my favorite national politicians! Hope this is prep work to pass to paton to our next president! Obama now, Clinton 2016.

    July 29, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    tom l.

    @David Mann,
    I'm just curious why you don't care that 4 Americans were killed. Why don't you want to know what happened (obviously you don't want to know otherwise you would want to see the results of the investigation)? Just because your guy is in office doens't mean we shouldn't have answers. Shameful.

    The IG conducted an investigation and the results have been available for months. In addition, the trail of emails on the unclassified talking points have also been available for months. If you want to see the results of the investigation, just get out of the right wing media sphere and do a little research yourself. Based on comments from people on the right, it seems you want so very badly for a scandal to exist you refuse to accept the available facts. The events in Bengazi were tragic but not a scandal.

    All of us care that 4 Americans were killed. Those of us in the fact based world also care about the 4,000+ Americans killed in Iraq but somehow those people getting killed didn't count enough to be a scandal. Mistakes were made in both cases but the manufactured outrage over 4 people with no outrage for 4,000 is ridiculous.

    July 29, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    One great president getting ready to pass the baton to the next great president.

    July 29, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Norma Vessels

    Chris .. hopefully, if Mrs. Clinton does run for President, and she does win .. then I hope to goodness, we have already voted out the majority, and I mean a VAST majority of the Republicans in Congress. I'm so heartedly sick of the Republicans in Congress making a scandal out of every thing they can! That bombing/fire in the embassy (though it wasn't the actual embassy) that killed those three .. was no differenlyt planned than those bombings that killed several people during George Bush, or any other President's tenure in office. There are crazy/evil people out there that will plan to kill innocent people again, the same way, in some embassy somewhere else, if they get half a chance.

    July 29, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. BO

    It's high time they get their Benghazi stories straight.

    July 29, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. sheila

    I pray she never gets elected! The country is in enough trouble as it is! "What difference does it make?" It makes a difference to the families of those killed in Benghazi!!

    July 29, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Italmn

    LOL...LOL...LOL.... OMG Post Comments are piling-up. Hillary & Obama are looking to make the world THEIR'S !!!!! NOW SHE is going to be the DICTATOR !!! WHOOO, WHOOOO LOL....Give it a REST everybody. OMG !! SO many paranoid people.LOL...LOL...

    July 29, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Chicago

    LOL. Yoonyoungjo is exactly the type of person that would vote for Hillary. We are all prospering so much under Democrats that we need to keep it going? What country do you live in? Move to Detroit and let us know how those Democratic policies work out for you.

    July 29, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "Any woman with a shred of self respect would have divorced their husband as soon as they found out he was a cheating pig. "

    Anyone with a shred of respect for women would recognize that it's their choice, not for you to judge and that family and raising the children and religious beliefs and other concerns sometimes matter more to people than just throwing everything away when things get tough. Huma's and Clinton's decisions are none of your business unless you're a misogynist pig or some feminist with an agenda who thinks it's their place to judge other women for not toeing the line....or, of course, the MSM which just wants to make money off the salacious details and doesn't care who gets trampled in the process.

    July 29, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. johnpm65

    Obama is currently the WORST President in history. He is hoping that Hillary can step in and take his crown. That will be a big challenge even for Hillary.

    July 29, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. may40

    Frick and Frack. What a joke these two are.

    July 29, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Independent Voter

    If she runs, she will win. Plain and simple. They are both political "rock stars." GOP has nobody. Nobody!

    July 29, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "What should happen is a Congressional Investigation into the coverup for her work getting an Ambassador killed."

    Right, because obviously, since the GOP/Teatrolls haven't gotten the answer they wanted yet, it means there's been no investigation. Here's a hint: there are no elephants in that strawberry patch. It's been thoroughly searched and turned upside down. Just because you don't have the answer you wanted, don't have the proof you claimed was there and haven't convinced everyone in the country to go along with all the breathless, frantic, desperate narrative manufacture from the far right spin machines, doesn't mean there's still an elephant in there somewhere and you just haven't found it yet because it's hiding so well.

    July 29, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. yippeeskip

    @Jeff Brown in Jersey...oh puhleeze!!!

    July 29, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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