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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

World

Obama, Clinton private lunch sparks 2016 buzz
PTI
Washington, July 30, 2013
First Published: 11:39 IST(30/7/2013)
Last Updated: 12:03 IST(30/7/2013)

US President Barack Obama had a private lunch with his former secretary of state Hillary Clinton at the White House, raising speculation about her much-rumoured run in the 2016 presidential elections.

Though the lunch was initially scheduled in the private dining room right off the Oval Office, the two decided to dine together outside during a pleasant summertime afternoon on Monday.

"It is largely friendship that's on the agenda for the lunch today. So it's not a working lunch as much as it is 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," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

It is Obama who had invited Clinton for lunch; the first since February when she left her position as the secretary of state, which she served successfully for four years in the first term of the Obama Administration.

"As you know, over the course of the last four years, and as much as 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.

"The White House chef on Tuesday whipped up some grilled chicken, some pasta jambalaya, and some salad for them to enjoy during lunch," he said when asked about the menu.

"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 it didn't come up," he said when asked whether the Israel-Palestine peace talks came up during the meeting.

Clinton is scheduled to hold breakfast with Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday, who so far hasn't ruled out running for presidency in 2016.

While Clinton has not announced her decision to run for the 2016 presidential polls, The New York Times reported some of her associates have been busy setting up what appears to be a political infrastructure should she decide to run again.

In recent polls, Clinton, 65, remains popular.

Last week, senate majority leader Harry Reid suggested she would be a better president than her husband.

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi in May said she prays Clinton will run.

Clinton currently is working on a memoir which is expected to be released next year. Recently she joined Twitter, and has more than 650,000 followers.


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