The hug must have worked.
Just a month and a half after the nation speculated that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were on the outs after the former secretary of state criticized her former boss , they seemed to be back on the same page Tuesday following last month’s hug.
“I think one of the best decisions I ever made as president was to ask Hillary Clinton to serve our nation’s secretary of state,” Obama said in a speech Tuesday.
Obama appeared with former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative to speak about how his administration, other governments, non-governmental organizations and charities can defend and strengthen civil society globally.
But he started with some comment about the Clintons.
“I still have a lot of debt to pay, though, because the two of them were separated far too often,” Obama said of the Clintons. “Hillary put in a lot of miles during her tenure.”
Obama said Clinton, the likely frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, has a “post-administration glow” and looks much more rested as the cameras showed Clinton on screens on either side of the stage.
Clinton made critical comments about Obama’s foreign policies last month. After a torrent of headlines, she phoned Obama and when the two saw each other a few days later at a party on Martha’s Vineyard, Clinton said looked forward to “ hugging it out” with the president.
Obama has spoken at the Clinton Global Initiative every year of his presidency.
“I want to thank President Clinton for your friendship and your leadership, and bringing us together as only he can,” Obama said. “Bill first asked me to come to CGI when I was a senator, and as president I’ve been proud to come back every year. It’s a testimony, I think, to any leader, not just what they themselves do, but the degree to which they are able to inspire action from others. And by that measure, obviously, Bill Clinton has continued to exert extraordinary global leadership for decades.”
Bill Clinton said he was grateful to Obama “for many reasons,” and especially because the president “continues to believe that as he strives to stop bad things are happening around the world, the rest of us are supposed to do more to make good things happen.”
Obama told the former president that he knows what he will do if daughter Chelsea goes into labor with her first child during his speech.
“She has my motorcade and will be able to navigate traffic,” he said.