Barack Obama, Bill Clinton: ‘Hello’

Photograph by Justin Lane/EPA

President Barack Obama is introduced by former president Bill Clinton during a fundraiser at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York.

“Hello.”

That’s what President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton had to say to one another today.

Obama and Clinton met up this afternoon at a Washington hotel where the president was raising campaign funds — though Clinton apparently was there to raise money for another politician.

Clinton was headlining a fundraiser at the Jefferson Hotel for Representative John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat and civil rights icon, Lewis told Alex Simendinger of RealClearPolitics, the White House press corps’ print pooler at the event.

Simendinger said a White House official confirmed that the two presidents said “hello” to one another.

The two have never been what might familiarly be called buddies.

The former president’s comments in an interview a while back that Congress “will probably have to put everything off until early next year” when it comes to the question of extending the Bush-era tax cuts were playing better in Republican quarters on Capitol Hill than at the Obama White House. Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna moved quickly to clarify those comments, saying Clinton “does not believe the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans should be extended again;” it’s just that he doubts a long-term agreement on taxes and spending cuts can be reached until after the fall elections play out.

Mark Silva contributed to this report.

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