Obama, Clinton ‘Buddies’ — Obama Says So

Hillary Clinton, U.S. secretary of state, left, listens while President Barack Obama speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House in this Nov. 28, 2012 file photo.

Photograph by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg

Hillary Clinton, U.S. secretary of state, left, listens while President Barack Obama speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House in this Nov. 28, 2012 file photo.

Remember the frosty body language and tension that filled the atmosphere in the presidential campaign debates between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?

Here’s a reminder: “It is sometimes difficult to understand what Senator Obama has said because as soon as he’s confronted on it, he said that’s not what he meant,” Clinton said then.

That was part of the Democratic debate in South Carolina on Jan. 21, 2008.

And today?

“Hillary and I are buddies,” the president said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” broadcast today.

Whatever lingering animosity there may have been, it’s gone.

“I think because we ran in the longest primary in history, and our staffs were doing battle politically,” it contributed to a perceived friction between the two, said the president, who went on to employ Clinton, the former first lady and senator from New York, as his secretary of state during his first term in office.

Obama-Clinton relations arose in the interview just as Clinton’s book, “Hard Choices” — due out June 10 — speaks highly of Obama. In one section previewed by the publisher, Clinton writes about Obama tracking down Osama bin Laden, and how his “acts were as crisp and courageous” as any she has seen.

Talking about this, that’s when Obama termed the two “buddies.”

“The perception was that this was kind of a marriage of convenience” when he named her secretary of state, the president said. “I‘ve always admired her. As soon as she got here, she couldn’t have been more effective, more loyal. And since that time, we’ve become really, really good friends.”

Obama said he had no inside knowledge to share on her plans for seeking the party’s nomination for president again in 2016:

“I don’t know what she’s going to decide to do, but I know that if she were to run for president, I think she’d be very effective at that.”

 

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