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. Rick McDaniel

    This meeting will be bad for the American people.

    It will be an effort to keep the dictatorship in place, through either Obama himself, or through Clinton. Either way, the country will suffer, and continue to decline.

    July 29, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  2. John M,

    Just as Hitler spoke with Heinrich Himmler regarding succession planning and preserving the reich, so now does Obama speak with Clinton.

    July 29, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  3. abdul schmegmagali

    Clinton advising Barry O on how to survive multiplt scandals......

    July 29, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  4. Truth

    Can anyone say B-E-N-G-H-A-Z-I ??

    July 29, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  5. sheila

    "What difference does it make"????? Is that her campaign slogan for 2016?

    July 29, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  6. Dmitry

    Hillary has an impressive resume for the job, don't know if America is going to be voting for a female president though.

    July 29, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  7. Steve

    Clinton, if she runs who will stop her? Nobody. She is the worst person for anybody in the GOP to meet. Call her old, Bhengazi, etc. it will not matter. Going to love it.

    July 29, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  8. Willy100

    I am VERY Excited that Hillary will run for President in 2016 ! !

    July 29, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  9. Hammerdown

    President Hillary Clinton.
    Works for me.
    Now, let the dogs out.

    July 29, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  10. McRCN

    Obama should ask Hillary how come Kerry has accomplished more in 6 months than she did in 4 years as Secretary of State.

    July 29, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  11. jpmichigan

    Be very careful Hillary, very careful. This sit down could hurt more than be helpful.

    July 29, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  12. Alex

    Just making sure he didn't forget her for 2016

    July 29, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  13. T.W.A

    I sure would like to be a fly on the wall at this lunch, lol !!!

    July 29, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  14. SomeOneElse

    Very scary!

    July 29, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. Al

    Another ugly corrupt web about to be spun by these two. Peas in a pod act alikes.

    July 29, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. freedom

    These two should be brought before a special prosecutor for their crimes and negligence of civic duty. Nixon was brought down for much less. In the meantime, the American citizens still aren't allowed to tour the White House.

    July 29, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  17. Sam

    Hilary 2016!! We have your back girl!!

    July 29, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. Tiredof these idiots

    Two of the biggest morons that walk this earth having lunch. Who cares!!! WOW now this is news worthy. Just another day that nothing gets done to fix the wrongs that plague this great nation.

    July 29, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  19. Shelea

    Hopefully, this lunch will be a kickoff for Hillary's run for President. To have the President working with her as she begins to plan her campaign is so exciting. If she truly decides to give it another shot, the DEMOCRATIC party will be the one who has given this country its first black and first woman President. GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 29, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  20. Ted Nolan

    Tell BO how you made 10,000% profit in the futures market and maybe this national debt thing can be quickly fixed. You both probably know the same crooks and con artists.

    July 29, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  21. ann

    I can't stand these people. The ones that can, have their agendas and THAT does not include all of us, which is wrong. If people used their conscience, instead of their agendas, everything, in this country, would be better.

    July 29, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. Realist

    Hillary is starting to look like Granny Clampett.
    Not as smart, though.

    July 29, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  23. Now is the time

    Hillary 2016.

    July 29, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  24. Realist

    Obama has aged ten years in the last four years.

    July 29, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  25. Jen

    Do they not anyway? Is it so rare that it makes news?

    July 29, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
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