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. ialsoagree


    Couldn't be further from the truth. I too am an independent, and I won't pretend my personal opinion reflects other independents.

    However, the Democratic party is graining ground among women and minorities, and the extreme right politics of the Tea Party (and the GOP's need to cater to the Tea Party) have shown in polls to be pushing independents away, and were shown to be pushing independents away in the last election (where the Democrats made ground in both the House of Representatives and the Senate).

    It's not unreasonable to predict that the GOP risks losing it's House majority in 2014, and possibly giving up a super majority to the democrats in the Senate – although the latter is not likely due to most of the seats being up for grabs already under democratic control.

    July 29, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. freedom

    Any woman of integrity and decency does not respect Hilary – she is the worst example of womanhood.

    July 29, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. gb333

    Rush Limbaugh's eye is twitching.

    July 29, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. Cruz Ted

    I will mobilized folks and vote for her, she is the best of the best, baggage's or luggage's, don't care.

    July 29, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Keeping their Benghazi stories straight.

    July 29, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Dallas

    I think "freedom" needs a trip to the home! Hillary Clinton is the personification of what we need in a President. She is undeniably the most qualified for the position. How can anyone in their right mind see one of these looney tunes on the right – Cruz, Rubio, Paul, Palin, Bachmann, etc. even being allowed on the White House tour much less sitting in the oval office. The country is ready for a woman president and it's Hillary's time!

    July 29, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. Nick

    THIS JUST IN........According to sources, Hillary Clinton reportedly ordered a club sandwich on wheat with NO MAYO and turkey bacon. The president apparently had a big breakfast, and thus, has decided to go with a salad..... our sources are still trying to confirm the contents of the salad, along with the dressing used...more updates will provided soon.


    July 29, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. larry bud

    Please get back to us the first time either of these two come up with a good idea! Thank you.

    July 29, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Ron L

    Worst example of womanhood...could you elaborate??? Because frankly I think your explanation will prove interesting.

    July 29, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. obamastilsux

    Hilary is a very weak individual. She just takes the punches and hangs out to stay in the 1%. Any self respecting person would tell Slick Willy and Obama to take their shenanigans and shove it.

    July 29, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Joe Clark

    Hilliary Clinton was absent for duty when additional security measures for Benghazi was discussed. Men died for want of the extra measure of protection they needed and had requested. She is not qualified to be the next President of the United States any more than Obama is qualified to be President which he has shown he is not over and over again.

    July 29, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. JY

    I would have voted for a Palin/McCann ticket in 2008 over a Hillary/anyone ticket, yes Palin for da Prez..

    But Hillary has proven herself, Bill has also made up for the BJ in the Oval mistake, if he had just said, yeah, so what. At this point, considering the GOP's stance on many issues that basically state they want a theocracy in America, Hillary will likely get my vote if she runs. She did well in State, helped in repairing what Condelicia and GW screwed up and left would good marks. Even after the GOP's typical latching onto an issue like a pitbull and refusing to release even when no one cared except the DC propagada mill.

    With Bill able to help her cross politcal lines as Bill did in his 2nd term, GOP leaders and she might just be able to push the teabaggers to the side like they belong. There is no room in this nation for a 'my way or the highway' mentality.

    July 29, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. Independent Voter

    If she runs she will win!

    July 29, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. Marie MD

    @freedom, really?
    If you are a man you don't know women and if you are a woman you are rethug and in the dwindling minority.
    Worst example of womanhood are the women who stand behind their men or are themselves politicians making war against women.

    July 29, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. ann

    They both are irresponsible dishonest people and phony beyond belief. Sad.

    July 29, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Joan

    It is pretty obvious from the posts here that the Republicans are scared stiff that Hillary Clinton will run in 2016. They have been trying to discredit her for some time and it will heat up as the time gets closer. That was the bottom line in the whole Benghazi issue. Several US posts had been attacked and Americans killed during Bush's years and the Republicans didn't flip out. They don't seem too upset that thousands of American soldiers were killed and wounded in the illegal Iraq war. Also, tens of thousands of innocent Iraq's citizens lost their lives and homes in that war and Afghanistan too. They are so transparent. They need to give up on all of their witch hunts and "scandals" and get to work on helping to govern the country. If Hillary Clinton decides to run the Republicans are going to have to rethink some of their hard core policies regarding women, immigration, same sex civil rights and especially healthcare or they will have a re-run of 2012. She speaks for more Americans than they do.

    July 29, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. Gunderson

    Student debt a Trillion. National Debt closing on 17 Trillion. Nearly 50 Million on Food Stamps. Obama/Hillary plan stick head in sand. No jobs. That what you want. Obama Care sending workers to part time or on euemployment. Obama/Hillary got education in Vaudville. WITH YOUR MONEY AND MY BRAINS, WE WILL GO PACES. Where? To Food Stamps, unemployment line.

    July 29, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Jopa

    Future of the Democrat party depends on how long they can keep the government checks flowing. Without them they offer nothing

    July 29, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. ug

    And this is really news huh...2 crooks sharing the same table...

    July 29, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. Huma Weiner

    Getting their Benghazi lies straight. That, and Barry letting Hillary know he's going to push to repeal the 22nd Amendment (how else can he become 'president for life').

    July 29, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Marie MD

    @joe Clark, under the shrub's admin our embassies were attacked, was it 13 times? Help me out on this somebody.
    Under your demigod Reagan we lost Marines.
    Your car thief from CA, issa, voted for less money for embassy security and your racist boy from KY is most certainly a turkey!

    July 29, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  22. 1alien1

    hilary is a patriot unlike the vast majority of gopers

    July 29, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  23. Mightyduk

    With the lack of any kind of direction or plan from the GOP she has my vote.

    July 29, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. Hil

    Does anyone Care...
    Benghazi did me in with Hillary...
    She Obama & holder....all bunch of corrupt low cover up cruds

    July 29, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. 4real

    Going out for lunch, I though they have been out to lunch for years. Where are they when they are really needed? Lunch!

    July 29, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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