Obamas, Clintons golf and fete friend on Martha's Vineyard

Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:37am EDT
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By Jeff Mason

OAK BLUFFS, Mass. (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama played golf with former President Bill Clinton and attended a party with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday to celebrate the birthday of Washington power broker and mutual friend Vernon Jordan.

The birthday bash, which took place on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, reunited the two powerful Democratic families in the midst of a second White House bid by Hillary Clinton, who is under fire for using a private email server during her time as the top U.S. diplomat.

The Obamas and Clintons crossed paths last year on Martha's Vineyard at a similar celebration for Jordan's wife, Ann.

That event came just after the former secretary of state criticized her one-time boss's foreign policy vision, prompting an apology and a pledge to reconcile by "hugging it out."

This year's gathering had some 200 guests, including actor Morgan Freeman and American Express Chief Executive Kenneth Chenault. The president toasted Jordan during the party.

Obama and Hillary Clinton had a brief conversation but no extended interaction, a White House spokesman said.

Clinton came to Martha's Vineyard fresh from a campaign stop in Iowa, where she pushed back against criticism from Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush that Obama's policies on Iraq created instability that led to the rise of the Islamic State militant group.

In 2008, Obama's victory in Iowa's Democratic primary contest helped propel him to beat Clinton for the party's nomination.   Continued...

U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he plays golf at Farm Neck Golf Club on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, August 15, 2015.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque