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
9 months 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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    If President Obama lays Organizing for America at HIllary's disposal the Rethugs can kiss 2016 good-bye for sure.

    July 29, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. tom l.

    @David Mann,
    I'm just curious why you don't care that 4 Americans were killed. Why don't you want to know what happened (obviously you don't want to know otherwise you would want to see the results of the investigation)? Just because your guy is in office doens't mean we shouldn't have answers. Shameful.

    July 29, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Wake up People!

    I'm loving all of these downright disgusting comments from the Party of family values!!!

    What's you guys motto?? The party that hates together stays together!!

    What a group!

    July 29, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. Manasseh

    Everyone hide the furniture! She may be there for Round 2 of a five finger discount on the White House stuff. Why anyone gives that power hungry feminist an ear is beyond comprehension. All she has ever done is blown smoke!

    July 29, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. Fair is Fair

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Frankly, I will like to see Sen. Klobuchar run.
    -------
    Wouldn't make it out of Iowa.

    July 29, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. EdL

    They may have discussed how great they are.

    July 29, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Hillary deserves and has more importantly EARNED all the help the President Obama WILL give her.
    She was a selfless class act when she accepted her post as Secretary of State, a hard-worker, and a true pro-America team player, qualities, unfortunately, seldom seen these days from many on the left and damn near everyone on the right in government.

    July 29, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "So we focused on the economy for what, 3 days? Now it's time to set our focus on the 2016 elections....etc"

    Dude is having lunch. LUNCH. And you go off all unhinged about it being an indication of all kinds of time being wasted? Haha. Wow.

    July 29, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. Tigas

    Buyer's Remorse Luncheon?
    Should have voted for Hillary in 2008...

    July 29, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. tom l.

    @Dominican
    "If President Obama lays Organizing for America at HIllary's..."

    Is OFA tax exempt? Do you think they received extra scruity from the IRS? Just askin... :)

    July 29, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Wake up People!
    What's you guys motto?? The party that hates together stays together!!
    -------------------------------------------------
    Good one Wake up!!
    Indeed.

    July 29, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. Luke

    The dust hasn't settled from Bengasi.........................and she wants votes for President?

    July 29, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    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...
    ------------------------------------------------
    Phony scandal!!! Air support would have not made it there in time. The SpecOps guys who insisted on going to Benghazi, well, they were responsible for guarding our embassy in Tripoli. So what cover up? Please tell me!

    July 29, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. Thomas

    "Stand down!" she said while American's were dragged thru the streets... now she sit's and get's the Oval Office treatment for allowing thugs to murder our fellow citizens... oh, wait.... it IS obama that's signing the check isn't it?

    July 29, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. Wake up People!

    @Dominican Mama.
    And THAT is why I'm supporting her!! You remember how I felt at first, but after Sec. Clinton accepted the SOS position, she showed me a side of her that's lacking these days in politics. She definitely gets my support. Also since the mere mention of the word Hill sends shivers through the GOP, she gets it for that also!!!

    Hillary 2016!!!

    July 29, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. Ram Riva

    You're looking at the US administrations for the next 11 1/2 years.....

    July 29, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Revolution

    What difference does it make

    July 29, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. leah

    Go Hilary 2016!

    July 29, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. The REAL Truth...

    @tom l. – Why don't you want to know what happened (obviously you don't want to know otherwise you would want to see the results of the investigation)? Just because your guy is in office doens't mean we shouldn't have answers.
    --------------------------–
    Tom, we know what happened. There were no stand down orders given, but Darryl Issa refuses to give up on the political witch-hunt, choosing instead to hold non-public closed-door "depositions" with those involved then selectively releasing unfavorable information aimed at hurting the POTUS.
    Let's not forget that during dubya's regime, there were 13 such attacks on US EMBASSIES, 2 of which were REPEAT attacks. 11 Americans + some 50 civilians were killed, but not a peek from the GOP (or Dem's) on any of those.
    Those of us with a brain look at the dichotomy and decide to ignore the Benghazi rhetoric from the right for what it is... pure political pandering!

    July 29, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Dave

    Since the entire staff of CNN is more than 90% Democrats,expect the fawning coverage to continue.Even if Hillary wins she will serve only 1 term. Contrary to David Mann's comments, support for Democrats and "progressive" politics is losing ground.There are just as many "wingnnuts" on the left. INDEPENDENTS like me sway elections and WE are no longer on the Democrats side.2014 will be a very bad time of "vituperation" for Democrats.

    July 29, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. JJ

    If you can’t say anything good about someone, you must be talking about Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton will never be President. She is one of the most hated and despised women in the country. Her hate factor is one rung below that of Nancy Pelosi. She is incompetent, has blood on her hands from the Benghazi murders of four Americans, committed perjury during the Benghazi hearings, as SOS fostered the expansion of Al Qaeda in Egypt, Libya and No. Africa and supported Morsi, the deposed head and terrorist of Egypt. If she is so popular, she would have won the Democratic nomination in 2008 against Obama.

    July 29, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Buckn

    With very many more years of extreme leftist idoits running the country, we'll have to change our name from the United States of America to the Union of American Socialist Republics.

    July 29, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Mark Bernadiner

    Clinton support islamic fascism. Being a Secr. of St., she used her power to infect this country with members of Muslim Brotherhood islamofascism organization. Now we must pay a literally bloody price for this. She hates America.

    July 29, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Let's not forget that during dubya's regime, there were 13 such attacks on US EMBASSIES, 2 of which were REPEAT attacks. 11 Americans + some 50 civilians were killed, but not a peek from the GOP (or Dem's) on any of those.
    Those of us with a brain look at the dichotomy and decide to ignore the Benghazi rhetoric from the right for what it is... pure political pandering!
    ----------------------------------------------
    I couldn't have stated it better myself TRUTH.

    July 29, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. SpaceMan

    Hillary could come out and admit that she personally led the terrorists in Bengasi and democrats would vote for her because she is a democrat.

    Hillary could come out and admit that she personally led the rescue mission in Bengasi and the republican’s would vote against here because she is a democrat.

    Policies no longer matter, actions no longer matter… when did you last hear of a politician with a plan before an election? They don’t. Right now there are more democrats in the country so the democratic candidate will win. The real election will be the primaries (like the last time around)….

    July 29, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16