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. larry simpson

    we will never be able to remove the stench of either of them

    July 29, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. U.S. Citizen

    Seeding Statism from one faction member to the next. Seeding power and policies.
    Who will they appoint for us to choose between. Surely it depends on whom is least out of favor than another; Democrat or Otherwise.

    Statism has no tolerance for Individualism, Personal Liberty, Family, Community, Cultural Diversity, or Sovereignty of States and Nations. They do not 'serve' the 'Collective' that is controlled by the 'Social Doctrine'/Religion of the governing Elite.

    So why is President Obama pushing 'Statism' upon us?

    To sell the U.S. and Personal Liberty out to be ruled over by the world elite.

    July 29, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. AreYouKidding?

    I hope they get tainted cheese or something. A few days on the toilet is just what the Dr. ordered for them both. Twits.

    July 29, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. loyalright

    "Hillary, we need to discuss this Benghazi thing and make sure we have our "stories" straight".

    July 29, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. Nick

    Seriously? Comeon CNN...let's write stuff with substance. When you write articles like this and it has nothing new with substance it makes me have headline fatigue.

    July 29, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    DC Observer wrote:

    ...... .... As for Obama's latest road shows and fiery speeches, if the President really wanted to get something done for the country, he would be back in DC sitting down with republicans in private doing some serious fence mending and negotiating.
    Seriously? He's already tried to "sit down with Republicans and negotiate." After an initial meeting, the Republicans were criticized by members of their own party. Now, no Republicans are willing to be seen coming into the White House, or even meeting with the President at a nuetral location like a private restaraunt. I suppose that this boycott is Pres. Obama's fault, too. Huh?

    July 29, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Lionel

    Go Hillary 2016.

    July 29, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. ireuel

    Would like to be the fly on that rooms wall. 😛

    July 29, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  9. Susan

    I'm not sure which of the two I feel sorrier for to have to sit across a table from the other.

    July 29, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |

    Go (away) Hillary... Americans are not stupid enough to forget Benghazi.

    July 29, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  11. larry simpson

    she wants to see if he would accept an ambassador job in chicago

    July 29, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    The two murderers, failures and liars sharing a lunch . How nice. LOL.. Now of course the Liberal press will make her their new GOD or Queen,. They have already started to campaign for her,. in fact NBC is running a mini series on her.
    You must have not seen the film HUBRIS.

    July 29, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. milenkovic milan

    Hillary’s place is in WH; as she said: “I really do hope that we have a women president in my life time”. Ms. Hillary Clinton was the best US Secretary of State ever! I hope she will be Presidential candidate in 2016… Sec. Clinton did outstanding job to help Pr. Obama to move this country forward in right direction… Ms. Clinton already showed that military and intelligence MUST go hand – in – hand with diplomacy…

    July 29, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  14. robert

    President Hillary has a nice ring to it !! Most think she would do a good job. If the Republicians get in, you can write off the country and back to the Hoover era we go !!

    July 29, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. Wake-up

    Soo Hillary, how can we dominate the world wa wa wa wa

    July 29, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. Tennis Player Ray

    O. "We have to get our stories straight about that night of Benghazi"
    H. "If we don't the parents of the slain are going to rip us apart"
    O. "OK, I had a terrific migraine that night and I had to get to bed early because I was going to be surrounded by many Hollywood stars the next day in Las Vegas and could score a lot of $$$$$$. You handle this Benghazi sh#t!"
    H. "I am not going to tell them that I was cowering in a corner hoping the 3am phone call didn't come"
    O. "Let's not say anything, I will exert executive privilege and maybe the stupid public will forget this whole thing"
    H. "If they don't forget I think the traitor that made the video and is still in jail should take the full blame"
    O. "Sounds great, good night and don't forget to say that Bush gave the STAND DOWN order!"

    July 29, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. TPF

    One liar to another! Most non-transparent and dishonest people that were ever in the Big House.

    July 29, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. maximusvad

    Sorry GOP you have absolutely nothing to offer America.....welcome back to DC Hillary...

    July 29, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. Sniffit

    Watching GOPers/Teatrolls' heads explode when they realize they're going to have to spend 8 more years saying the phrase "President Clinton" (or spitefully trying to avoid saying it) is going to be delicious.

    July 29, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. FidyCents

    Is Hillary going to apologize again about the birth certificate story? Come on Obama let's move on.

    July 29, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. kathy/Minnesota

    YES WE CAN!!!! 🙂

    July 29, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. stambo

    The two people that most represent the deterioration of the United States of America doing lunch....go figure. Hillary 'Walmart' Clinton and Obama together represent the loss of american manufacturing and racial/class division. Together they represent all that is killing the economy and race relations. The USA has suffered tremendous international loss of standing under Obama and the State Department suffered horribly under Clinton (prostitution, drug-usage, un-monitored agencies, etc.). The USA is falling faster and faster and these two receive all the credit.

    July 29, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  23. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    One liar to another! Most non-transparent and dishonest people that were ever in the Big House.
    Weapons of Mass Destruction. I rest my case.

    July 29, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. FubarObama

    Figuring our a way for someone else to fall in sword over Benghazi

    July 29, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. disqus_m4RzRjSnrs

    Her famous quote after Benghazi, "What difference does it make?" Ah, Hillary did not understand at the time and still does not understand. Or maybe she does. Obama's pandering in order to help elect the first female President.

    In her defense, she did pander to hubby Bill to remain in politics. She is consistent in her sucking up to the man/men to achieve her personal goals.

    July 29, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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