After criticism, Obamas, Clintons to meet

 

Just days after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered a stinging critique of President Obama’s Syria policy, she and former President Clinton will party with Obama and the first lady on Martha’s Vineyard.

The current and last Democratic first families will both attend a party Wednesday night at the Martha’s Vineyard home of Democratic fundraiser Vernon Jordan. The Obamas are in the opening days of a two-week vacation on the Massachusetts island; Clinton will be signing copies of her memoir at a local bookstore.

"The president and first lady have accepted an offer to attend a social gathering at the home of Vernon Jordan on Wednesday evening,” a White House official said. “The president and first lady are very much looking forward to the occasion and seeing former Secretary Clinton."

The party will be celebrating the 80th birthday of Jordan’s wife, Ann Dibble Jordan, according to Politico, which first reported that the two families would be in attendance. Ann Jordan is a cousin of Valerie Jarrett, who is among the president’s top political advisers and a close friend of the first family.

The collision of the Obamas and Clintons comes shortly after Clinton criticized the president’s handling of the Syria Civil War, suggesting a deeper U.S. intervention earlier in the conflict could have prevented the rise of the radical Sunni group, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria now terrorizing northern Iraq.

“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,” Clinton told The Atlantic.

Clinton also knocked the White House’s frequently cited foreign policy mantra.

“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” Clinton said.

In an interview with The New York Times published Friday, Obama said it had “always been a fantasy” to think that arming rebels would have made a difference in the Syrian conflict.

“This idea that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth, and that they were going to be able to battle not only a well-armed state but also a well-armed state backed by Russia, backed by Iran, a battle-hardened Hezbollah, that was never in the cards,” Obama said.

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