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. Karloff

    "Now, Barack, you're not going to be anywhere near my campaign, right?"

    "Whatever you say, Hillary."

    July 29, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. Howie

    What difference does it make? These two are a disgusting pair of demagogos

    July 29, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. Kathleen Farrell

    Ruth, pay attention to the context of "What difference does it make." She was so clearly talking about managing the crisis at the moment instead of investigating the perpetrators. We're talking real time, not Monday morning quarterbacking.
    And you should be ashamed. Was Mother Theresa a loser to you since she probably didn't meet your beauty contest standards. How very shallow.

    July 29, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  4. itzmeman

    @Ruth – Yeah and I can say the same thing about the two wars that GW started and ask you if you would say "What difference does it make?" if it was someone you knew or related too. By the way, people who have to make comments about other people's appearance are usually unhappy with their own looks and are just plain immature.

    July 29, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  5. disqus_m4RzRjSnrs

    Obama is known for the beer he serves. I am sure Hillary was overwhelmed.

    July 29, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. Steve

    Well, if people want to connect Hillary to Bill's failures, they must also connect her to his successes, a robust economy , no wars, jobs, and a balanced federal budget.

    July 29, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  7. Paul

    Obama: SO the Republican party should be dead by 2016
    Hilary: Do not worry I will put the death nail in the coffin

    July 29, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  8. chuck

    She will never be president.

    July 29, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    two liars entertaining each other!

    July 29, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  10. emskadittle

    I love you republican parrots, you take half a statement out of context and make it your mantra

    July 29, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  11. David

    So they had lunch together. And talked about whatever. Why would I mind a bit. The chicken is the only one with any legitimate objection and it was probably delicious.

    July 29, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  12. Lucky Me

    Detroit is bankrupt. People are being killed in Syria by the thousands. Unemployment is rampant. The national debt is neraly seventeen trillion dollars. Gas Prices are hovering around $3.75 a gallon. But Obama says let's talk about treyvon martin and do lunch with Hillary.

    July 29, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  13. VEW2012

    @Ruth .....Well Ruth under George W. Bush – 13 embassies were bombed, plus the Pentagon, and the World Trade Towers were completed destroyed and 3000 people lost their lives, and he was forewarned. George W Bush stood on the deck of a carrier and promised to bring bin Laden to justice, and he never did.

    July 29, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  14. gary acabbo

    Barack, will you be serving humble pie to me for dessert?

    July 29, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  15. gary acabbo

    When will the snake come down from the tree to offer me an apple?

    July 29, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  16. Nottrayvon

    Obama and Hillary do lunch and work on rehearsing their lies about Benghaazi while Barry reveals his plans to repeal twenty second Amendment.

    July 29, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  17. are122

    WOW! Tweetly Dee and Tweetly Dumb!! Wonder if they were working up another apology video.

    July 29, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. Dave

    "So, you're planning on running against Michelle?"

    July 29, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  19. Eric

    Birds of a feather flock together! Oh God, Please don't let her run for presidency

    July 29, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  20. Deac

    Where's the phony scandal stories using huge font size on CNN? Maybe its that the mainstream media knows that this/their administration has stepped too deep in the do do to be able to defend them?

    July 29, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  21. Bobby

    That's what it's about–Hillary and Obama. Case closed. Watch some idiot Americans stick us with ten plus more years of this leftist cr-p.

    July 29, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  22. kate

    Obama and Clinton should be ashamed of the lies and phony statements they have made prison for both!This administration is out of controll and it seems no one is going to get the truth !IMPEACH THEM!

    July 29, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    The economy sucks. What difference does it make.

    July 29, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  24. Homer10

    Get the Republicons to spend all their money now so there won't be much left in 2016. We all know how they like to spend money.

    July 29, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  25. cgs

    They should have invited Chris Stevens,,,oh wait....

    July 30, 2013 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
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