EDGARTOWN, Mass. — The White House said Wednesday that President Barack Obama “is looking onwards and upwards” in his relationship with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton after a public split on foreign policy.
Obama spokesman Eric Schultz said the president appreciated Clinton’s phone call Tuesday to smooth over the fallout of a magazine interview in which she distanced herself from her boss and 2008 presidential campaign rival.
Schultz declined to say whether the president was upset over her critique of his performance as he is juggling several crises overseas, but said they “have a close and resilient relationship” and the president looks forward to seeing her at a party Wednesday night while they are both on the island of Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts.
Clinton’s spokesman has said she looks forward to “hugging it out” with Obama after publicity over her critiques of his foreign policy. But Schultz told reporters the birthday party for Ann Jordan, wife of Democratic adviser Vernon Jordan, will be private, so there won’t be any media coverage of their greeting.
“I believe the president and Secretary Clinton have had many hugs over the past few years,” he said. “I suspect many of them have been caught on camera.”
In her interview with The Atlantic magazine, Clinton described a different approach that she would take in places like Syria and the Mideast, and she rebuked Obama’s cautious approach to global crises.
“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” she said, referring to a version of the phrase Obama and his advisers have used privately to describe his approach to foreign policy.
Clinton called Obama at his vacation home Tuesday to tell him she wasn’t trying to attack him. Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said Clinton has frequently touted Obama’s achievements and was honored to be part of his team, despite some differences.
“Some are now choosing to hype those differences but they do not eclipse their broad agreement on most issues,” Merrill said in a written statement Tuesday. “Like any two friends who have to deal with the public eye, she looks forward to hugging it out when they see each other tomorrow night.”
Clinton’s signing of “Hard Choices” is scheduled at the Bunch of Grapes bookstore, an independent shop that Obama often visits to pick up some vacation reading. He does not plan to attend the signing or see Clinton outside the party, Schultz said.