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. Gunderson

    Amazing Picture Gunderson see level of intellegence of electrate out there. You vote for it. Lets see. Food Stamps, no jobs morgages under water, all business move off shore, money out of U.S. all brought to you by Liberal's. You like, Hillary next to rule the Collective. Can you all say Nanny State!

    July 29, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. scott

    i love it...driving conservates bat shit crazy. hahahaha...they will probably have a good meal and talk about how the r's are having their gang fights and how she will have a clear and eazy path to the wh in 2016

    July 29, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. Hillary will lose

    Hillary will lose if she runs in 2016 for sure. She was the fall guy for the Benghazi incident whether or not she was 100 percent responsible. Unless there is conclusive evidence that her and or Obama or his administration didnt commit a cover up, then the controversy will stick with Hillary.

    July 29, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. Freedom Storm

    "You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream - the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order - or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, 'The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.'" –Ronald Reagan

    July 29, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. Obamaisasocialist

    Glad he has time for lunch. He is staying busy doing everything except talking about Detroit where the long-term fruits of his ideas and economic policies are on full display.

    July 29, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. chet

    Obama is going to throw her under the bus

    July 29, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. contact@ardanet.com

    Awesome, the Democrats brought us our first Black President, and now they are going to bring us our first Women President!

    July 29, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. emskadittle

    what does it matter, all of the republicans voted against obama in the last election, how did that work for you?

    July 29, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Italmn

    Hey Freedom Storm, You better get your head out of where the sun don't shine there buddy ! LOL...Quoting Ronald Regan with that statement ? He is the one who really started the Massive debt problem & the dysfunctional debacle in Wall Street supporting the wealthiest and depriving the middle class and the poor from growing and succeeding period. That comment is IGNORANT as it gets.

    July 29, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. ConfucianScholar

    What women's empowerment?....she appeared right along side his women-addicted husband to ask for the public pardon trying to ensure her political future at the cost of her dignity.

    July 29, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Frankly, I will like to see Sen. Klobuchar run.

    July 29, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. ketrout

    Obama needs the Clintons to do his dirty work. Obama is running scared for he does not know is job. Obama has to rely on others to cover his own as#.

    If I were the Clintons, I would stay clear away from Obama. Otherwise Obama will bring down the Clintons.

    Obama is NO president, he relies on others to make him look good. Obama must have a lot of dirt on others in-order to get them to do whatever he wants them to do. Truly a shame!

    July 29, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. LDUB

    Benghazi again?

    July 29, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. LDUB

    How can we talk our way out of this mess?

    July 29, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. Eric

    Clinton: gotta get Bill back.

    July 29, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. stambo

    God I hope Hillary runs in 2016 and wins! Nothing will rid the world of the USA's odious influence on the world than Hillary Clinton becoming presidente of the united states of america. It's just simply stupefying watch the far, far left progressives drool and fawn over one of the main architects that destroyed the middle class. Hillary 'Walmart' Clinton presided and profited over the destruction of the manufacturing industry in America. She IS the poster child for importing cheap chinese made goods and the democrats lick it up. Let her win an 8 year mandate just like barry so we can watch the once mighty United States of America fall further and further.

    July 29, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. Mark L.

    I will not be voting for her in anyway shape or form to become president or any candidate who wishes her to be vice president. Not going to happen.

    July 29, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. jeff

    So we focused on the economy for what, 3 days? Now it's time to set our focus on the 2016 elections. Nothing will ever get done when Washington is spending 20 hours a day campaigning, 1 hour a day sexting, 2 hours of fine dining, 30 minutes a day relieving themselves and then if we are lucky they will spend half an hour a day actually trying to legislate.

    July 29, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. david mann

    @HILLARY WILL LOSE..."Conclusive evidence that she...etc, DIDN'T commit a coverup"?????.
    You're a little confused there Bubba. In America you don't have to prove innocence, you must prove GUILT. And so far nobody has done that. All you have are the Hannitys, Limpbows, Becks, and the rest of the tin-foil hatted, far far right, conspiracy wingnuts spewing vitriolic vituperation. Who needs proof when you have a bunch of morons listening to you. Hillary will mop the floor with whoever runs for the GOP.

    July 29, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. tom l.

    tom l.
    Just wondering from the liberals on here how you can just allow an obvious cover up with regards to Benghazi. How do you just accept that? Clearly they messed up and 4 Americans were killed yet you don't seem to care or want to know what really happened because your guy is the president. Shameful.
    I hate to have to keep bringing this up to you and your ilk, but Bush lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction and that costs us the lives of THOUSANDS!!! Now your point is what????

    Just who is my "ilk"? I'm anxious to hear from you on that. As far as your response, just what does that have to do with Benghazi?
    I really don't want to go into the whole background but, as you are very aware, democrats and repubs both voted for the use of force against Iraq. Did Hillary Clinton lie? Did the U.N. lie in its report? Give it a rest with the "lie" comment about WMD's. It's so tiring.

    Now, would you like to answer the questions as to Benghazi or deflect to yet another topic? Why are you okay with this cover-up? It's shameful and your response just proves my point. Your guy is in office so you just don't care...

    July 29, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Awesome, the Democrats brought us our first Black President, and now they are going to bring us our first Women President!
    It is certainly looking that way isn't it?

    July 29, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. The REAL Truth...

    I love all the right wing negativity being posted on this topic. The hypocrisy from the same folks is unprecedented and expected.. especially the continued harping on manufactured scandals like Benghazi, the IRS, and even those commenting on Hilary's "what difference does it make" statement (completely taken out of context).

    The total and absolute lack of respect shown for the office of POTUS – from the Republicant's in Congress and the sheeple they have brainwashed with a mixture of conjecture, hyperbole and rumor over the last 5 yrs – is also unprecedented. That they point fingers at the POTUS for being divisive is ludicrous.

    As a right-leaning conservative, it pains me greatly to see what the Republican Party has done to this great county over the last 13 yrs – while their lemmings seriously believe everything that they are told thru Fox about the NSA, Patriot Act, spying, Benghazi and the IRS targeting. The right wing voter has become an ignorant, low information voter. It will server them right when Hilary hands them another shellacking in 2016.

    July 29, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. jamie

    Two peas in a pod. Crooks

    July 29, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Michael

    I love seeing articles about Hillary/ The haters come out in force and prove their rhetoric contains little or no FACTS. If you want to put real fear into the right-wingers...you can do it with two words: Hillary 2016!

    July 29, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain

    @Gunderson: Repubs answer to our nation's challenges is to give tax cuts to the rich (even though they use that money to offshore jobs or hide it in the Caymans); cut foodstamps, saying recipients should get jobs instead (even though a majority of them are the working poor – notice the word "working") and cut the minimum wage because it inhibits people from starting their own business (yes, the loony Koch brothers floated that turd).

    Housing is rebounding, so that part of your post is an outright lie. And if you're looking for a "nanny state," look no further than Alaska, where the likes of the Palin clan received thousands of dollars a year PER PERSON from the state, simply because they're residents.

    Talk about socialism at its finest! So much for being a bunch of "independent" people ...

    July 29, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
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