Monday, July 29, 2013

Obama And Hillary Lunch Together: "A Table For Two"

WASHINGTON -- The most interesting lunch in the political world took place Monday at the White House, though officials said the chat between President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton was more personal than professional.
Obama and Clinton "have developed not just a strong working relationship, but also a genuine friendship," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. "So it's largely friendship that's on the agenda for the lunch today."
Obama invited the former rival-turned-secretary-of-State to a private lunch that took place on an outside patio near the Oval Office.
Rather than a "working lunch," Earnest described the bread breaking as more of "an opportunity for the two who saw each other on a pretty frequent basis over the course of the last four years to get a chance to catch up."
Given their respective backgrounds, it wouldn't be surprising if Obama and Clinton also talked about the Middle East or other foreign policy issues during lunch, Earnest said.
And the 2016 presidential election? Who knows?
Earnest declined to provide details, save for the lunch itself: grilled chicken, pasta jambalaya and salad.
Specific details of the table talk will have to await the history books to be written on Obama's second term, or perhaps the tomes on the 2016 election.
Obama and Clinton fought a tense and historic Democratic primary battle in 2008. After his election as president, Obama persuaded Clinton to join his team as secretary of State.
Clinton retired from that post earlier this year, and many analysts believe she will again the seek the presidency in 2016.
Not on Monday's guest list: Vice President Biden, who may launch his own presidential candidacy in three years. Earnest pointed out that "the vice president has lunch with the president on a weekly basis."
John Kerry, who replaced Clinton as secretary of State, was also spotted at the White House, but did not attend the lunch.
"It's my understanding the table is being set for two," Earnest said.
Earnest also pointed out that "it's far too early to tell" if Obama will make some kind of endorsement in the 2016 race.
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill declined to discuss the lunch, referring all comments to the White House.

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