NEW YORK – Barack Obama and Bill Clinton talked over lunch on Thursday about the economy and world affairs in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and what the former president can do to help the Democratic nominee defeat Republican John McCain in the Nov. 4 election.
In a joint statement, the two men said they had a “great conversation” during their meeting, which came on the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
“They discussed the campaign briefly but mostly talked about how the world has changed since September 11, 2001,” the statement said. “They also spoke about what the next president can do to help make the economy work for all Americans, as it did under President Clinton, and ensure safety and prosperity far beyond the coming the election.”
The lunch at Clinton’s office in New York’s Harlem neighborhood was the first lengthy meeting between the two since Obama emerged as the victor in his drawn-out Democratic primary battle against Clinton’s wife, Hillary. Bill Clinton has been widely reported to have nursed hard feelings about his wife’s loss, although he strongly endorsed Obama at the Democratic convention in Denver and plans to campaign for him in the coming weeks.
“We’re putting him to work,” Obama joked to reporters as he stood with the former president in an office reception area lined with books, photographs and memorabilia.