Wherever President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton go, so goes the awkward tension. This week is no exception.
Just days after Clinton criticized her former boss’ foreign policy in a lengthy magazine interview, the two are due to attend a party together while the president vacations on Martha’s Vineyard.
A White House official said the president and First Lady Michelle Obama expected to see Clinton Wednesday night at a “social gathering” at the home of Vernon Jordan, the longtime Clinton associate. The Obamas accepted the invitation this week. It was not immediately clear if President Clinton planned to attend.
“The president and first lady are very much looking forward to the occasion and seeing former Secretary Clinton,” said the official, who would not be named discussing the president’s schedule.
The guest list immediately will make the soiree one of the most scrutinized of the season -- at least among the many political types on this small island this week.
In an interview published in the Atlantic on Sunday, Clinton took her clearest shot yet at Obama’s record by arguing that Obama’s “failure” to assist rebels in Syria led to the rise of Islamic militant groups destabilizing Iraq. She also took a broader dig at the president’s erstwhile favorite foreign policy catch phrase “Don’t do stupid stuff.”
“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” Clinton told journalist Jeffrey Goldberg.
The comments were widely seen as both a reflection of Clinton's more hawkish views and her own presidential ambitions.
The White House has not commented on the interview.
The Obamas typically do a fair amount of socializing during their annual Martha’s Vineyard getaway. For almost two weeks in August, the Obama inner circle often is seen swirling around the island, This year's group includes adviser Valerie Jarrett, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Atty. Gen. Eric Holder.
Clinton isn’t in that pack. Although Martha’s Vineyard was a Clinton family favorite during her husband’s term, they've opted for the Hamptons in recent years.
This year’s high-profile collision appears to be a scheduling quirk. Clinton is slated to promote her book, “Hard Choices,” at a bookstore earlier Wednesday.