MARTHA’S VINEYARD (AFP) – Hillary Clinton may have distanced herself from Barack Obama’s foreign policy, but he doesn’t seem to have taken it personally: the two will meet at a party later this week.
Obama and the presumptive frontrunner for his Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination are due to attend the same soiree on Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday.
And the White House told AFP both the US leader and his wife Michelle were “very much looking forward to the occasion and seeing Former Secretary Clinton.”
The First Family is spending their summer vacation on the swanky Massachusetts resort island. Clinton, meanwhile, will be there for a signing of her memoir “Hard Choices.”
The social gathering will be held at the home of Vernon Jordan, a former adviser to ex-president Bill Clinton, the White House said.
The Obama-Clinton encounter will take place just days after the former secretary of state, in an interview, blamed the rise of Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria on failures of US policy under Obama.
Clinton specifically faulted the US decision to stay on the sidelines of the insurgency against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad as opening the way for the most extreme rebel faction, the Islamic State.
“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad – there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle – the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” she told The Atlantic.
Clinton, who lost to Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, also suggested the US leader lacked a strategy for dealing with the jihadist threat.
“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” she said, referring to an Obama motif.
Clinton’s arguments were seen as an attempt to distance herself from Obama as she prepares to announce her candidacy.
Obama is planning to return to Washington for two days on Sunday before heading back to Martha’s Vineyard for a break during which he traditionally spends the bulk of his free time on the golf course.