By Justin Sink - 05/30/14 10:24 AM EDT
President Obama said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be a "very effective" president if she were to run, and he said he had become "really, really good friends" with his former political opponent since working together in the White House.
"Hillary and I, we're buddies," Obama said during an appearance on "Live with Kelly and Michael." "I think because we ran in the longest primary in history and our staffs, I think, were doing battle politically, I think the perception was that this was always kind of a marriage of convenience when she came in as secretary of State."
But, Obama said he "admired her as soon as she got here. She couldn't have been more effective, more loyal, and since that time, we've become really, really good friends."
"But I know that if she were to run for president, I think she'd be very effective at that," he said. "I've been blessed to have some people around me like her, and Vice President Biden, and my chief of staff who are just great, hard-working, effective people, and I love them to death."
Biden has also signaled that he is considering mounting a bid for the 2016 nomination, setting up a tough dynamic for the sitting president.
Clinton and Obama shared lunch at the White House on Thursday, in a meeting that was not listed on the president's public schedule. A White House official said Obama "enjoyed" the "informal, private lunch."
Later that night, the White House announced that Biden would be dining with the president on Friday.