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. don in albuquerque

    Nothing has been proven, because there is nothing there, so all they can screech is Benghaaaaaaazzzzzziiiiiiiiiiii!!!!! Battle cry of morons everywhere.

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

    WOW, some of you are completely fooled. I feel sorry for the USA.

    July 29, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. gt

    Will Hillary except Obama's apology from getting screwed by the DEMS for snubbing Hillary to put Obama in the White House?

    July 29, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. terrance

    poor America stop watching this channel

    July 29, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. Vanessa TH

    So Hil...what's up with your boy Weiner?! Ha ha ha...

    July 29, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. JoshO

    BO: "So, I've almost totally destroyed America..haha!...you ready to finish the job?"
    HC: "Oh I so got this."

    July 29, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Carlos Danger
    ...."we gotta do sumtin about dis benghazi ting and dis Wiener who is making us look bad"...
    What's the matter Carlos? Your command of the english language is so atrocious that not even spellcheck can keep up?
    You and gt should've payed attention the few times you attended school.

    July 29, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. don in albuquerque

    @JoshO-Ummmm..No that would be George that almost destroyed America.

    July 29, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Des Perado

    So tell me, Hillary, do you really know or do you just have a pretty good idea
    Which of the three do you think is the biggest failure…you…me…or Obamacare ???

    July 29, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. damn John

    I wonder if Hillary will have to dye her hair every week after the first presidency. Must be a terrible burden to know what the presidents know. I wonder if Bill told her the big secret already?

    July 29, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Huh?

    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.

    I don't think that this is correct. The 25th amendment states:

    Section 2.

    Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

    I think you are confusing the secession for the presidency with selecting a new VP. If there is no VP the Speaker is next in line. However, the President is permitted to select his own VP and the Speaker gets demoted again.

    July 29, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Ruth

    If it was your husband,brother ,son killed in Benghazi you would not say"What difference does it make " and go forward to keep our embassy's safe .Well Hillary, under your husband as President ,3 Embassy's were bombed and the U>S>S> Cole and HE PROMISED to bring the murders to justice and never did either,and had he did his job as President when the TWIN TOWERS were first bombed in Feb>1993 maybe 9/11 would not have happened.....and besides she will be 70,she is fat and needs to lose some weight and not to pretty to look at either

    July 29, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Jeb

    I wonder if after the GOP loses the White House again if they'll stop being the party of NO and look for a positive way to contribute to moving the country forward?

    July 29, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |

    Mrs. Clinton we are ready for you and hope you are ready to be the next president.

    July 29, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. Jeb

    The GOP has already started their campaign of hate and smear against Hillary and she hasn't even announced that she's running for President in 2016.

    July 29, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. j

    So Hillary...ummm......yeah...........
    Right...So, Barry....mmmm...well.....sigh

    (awkward silence for 10 minutes)

    July 29, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. Huh?

    succession. duh!

    July 29, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. darth's daughter

    and where is their buddy former PRES. George W. Bush?

    July 29, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. Sean

    So then Candy was like, "He did call it an act of terrror" and I was all WOOP! WOOP! I got this! Anyway, long story short...Michelle grew these vegetables in our garden.

    July 29, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. Ralph_in_FL

    Are they actually eating that rabbit food, or is it just for the cameras?

    July 29, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    . We are all prospering so much under Democrats that we need to keep it going? What country do you live in
    The one where all economic indicators say it's moving FORWARD in spite of the Republicans doing absolutely NOTHING to help us and it rcover.
    One of the BEST Presidents EVER: Barack Hussein Obama. Two-termer.

    July 29, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  22. eviltaxpayer

    Looks like they're still laughing at the 4 dead men in bengazi they knowingly LIED about-

    July 29, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. Ol' Yeller

    @Ruth... I might say that if some crazed lunatics were screaming from the rafters. Also Ruth, if you want to point fingers, as you seem compelled to do... let's not forget to mention bush's failure to capture the perpetrator of the worst terrrorist attack in the history of our nation. BTW- that was on American soil. And that was American citizens who did not sign up for the known perils of working overseas in sometimes hostile and dangerous locales.
    And I'm sure Hillary will try to lose some weight and meet your standards.... Hater.

    July 29, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. dave

    How cute, 2 moderate democrats/republicans, have lunch. Maybe discussing how they can bring in 10 to 30 million more workers to depress everyone's wage/salary for decades to come with a massive labor surplus to add to the already masssive labor surplus. We need 30 million good jobs now, maybe by adding 30 million+ more workers we can get that up to needing 60 million good jobs. Or maybe they are discussing trade, and how they can make a few dozen more Detroits, afterall, free trade has been a huge success so far, just ask all the unemployed workers, and all those who haven't seen a real pay raise in their entire lives, or look at the trade deficit. The only good thing about them is that they are not right wing extremists. Given a choice, you still can't pick the right wing extremist, in the next election about nothing.

    July 29, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. don in albuquerque

    Oh, ah, Ruth. Care to guess how many embassies and govt. installations were attacked under the watch of King George?
    No? Didn't think so. Facts have such a way of clouding the issue. And did you miss the fact that Georgie W was warned about 9/11 well in advance and did nothing. Don't worry about the truth dearie. It only confuses the lies.

    July 29, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
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