President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were superficially all smiles and compliments to each other at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York on Tuesday — despite the underlying tension between them, reports Politico
Their joint appearance as political colleagues and "friends" underscores the fact that the embattled commander-in-chief and his ambitious former secretary of state depend on each other despite their differences.
Clinton needs to keep Obama and his supporters on her team if she intends to run for the White House in 2016 while Obama will rely on Hillary to maintain his legacy, especially Obamacare, after he leaves office, according to Politico, which describes their relationship as "complicated."
The problems between them had their origins last year when Clinton pushed the president to order airstrikes against the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad, Obama eventually rejected the notion, which may have then created a vacuum filled by the violent Islamic State (ISIS) terror group.
Their opposing viewpoints were exposed over the summer when Clinton criticized Obama's foreign policy during her book tour. At one point, she even noted that, "'Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle," while riffing on a comment that her ex-boss had made previously.
Her comments were seen as an attempt to distance herself from Obama
in advance of a widely anticipated 2016 presidential bid.
After speaking to the president on the phone, she quickly backtracked by insisting that Obama had her full support and that she wasn't trying to put down his policies.
Since then, both sides have been going out of their way to play nice, according to the political news site, as was evident during their glamorous night out at the Sheraton New York.
During his speech, Obama said, "I think one of the best decisions I ever made as president was to have Hillary Clinton serve as our secretary of state. I'll always be grateful for her extraordinary leadership around the world."
And while talking about his foreign policy, he praised Clinton for helping to "champion our efforts" during her tenure in the State Department. Adroitly, the president steered clear of the current ISIS crisis in Syria.
The president even paid a compliment to Hillary's looks while saying she had an out-of-office "glow." And he also had some kind words for her husband, former president Bill Clinton.
"It's a testimony I think to any leader not just what they themselves do, but the degree to which they inspire actions from others," Obama said. "Bill Clinton has continued to exert extraordinary global leadership for decades."
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