News Column

Martha's Vineyard Awaits the Big Hug

August 13, 2014

Eric Williams, Cape Cod Times

Aug. 13--OAK BLUFFS -- And now, the island waits for The Big Hug.

Apparently, a conciliatory embrace between Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton -- between a current and perhaps a future president -- may be the main event tonight, when the powerful pair are scheduled to attend a party for Ann Jordan, wife of Democratic adviser Vernon Jordan.

The need for a squeeze arose from recent remarks by Clinton that could be viewed as critical of some aspects of the president's foreign policy.

According to The Associated Press, Clinton called Obama on Tuesday to tell him that the remarks, made during an interview with The Atlantic, were not an attempt to attack him or his leadership.

"Like any two friends who have to deal with the public eye, she looks forward to hugging it out when they see each other (Wednesday) night," said Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill in a written statement.

During the interview, Clinton -- Obama's secretary of state during his first term -- described a different approach she would take in places such as Syria and the Mideast. And she rebuked Obama's cautious approach to global crises, according to the Associated Press.

So will it be a bear hug or an air hug? Or is it no cinch that there will even be a clinch? Serious squeeze fans can only wait and wonder.

During the calm before the hug, Obama headed over to Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown Tuesday afternoon to golf while the golfing was good. Weather forecasts point to a washout on Wednesday, which might limit the president to puttering around his vacation home in Chilmark.

Birdie-seeking pals on the swinging safari included Cyrus Walker, cousin of senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett; Dr. Eric Whitaker, a longtime friend of Obama from Chicago; and Ron Kirk, former trade ambassador.

On Tuesday, the President also expressed his condolences to the family and community of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was shot to death over the weekend by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Tensions have been boiling in the suburban St. Louis city since the incident, sparking protests, riots, looting and arson.

"I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding," Obama said, according to a White House statement. "We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds."

Follow Jason Kolnos and Eric Williams on Twitter: @capecast. #mvobama


(c)2014 Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, Mass.)

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Original headline: Will president 'hug it out' with Hilary Clinton?

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Source: (c)2014 Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, Mass.)

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