Obama and Clinton attend summer soirée on Martha's Vineyard

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama plan to attend Vernon Jordan's 80th birthday party Saturday night on the swanky Massachusetts island famous as a gathering spot for prominent Democrats.

AP Photo/Steven Senne
President Barack Obama walks toward a green while golfing at Vineyard Golf Club, in Edgartown, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Monday, Aug. 10, 2015. The president is staying on Martha's Vineyard with first lady Michelle Obama and daughter Sasha for a 17-day island retreat.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are expected to rub shoulders at a civil rights leader's soiree on Martha's Vineyard, bringing the sitting president together with his potential successor.

Both Obama and the 2016 Democratic front-runner plan to attend Vernon Jordan's 80th birthday party Saturday night on the swanky Massachusetts island famous as a gathering spot for prominent Democratic figures. They'll be joined by a number of other big-name corporate, civil rights and political leaders.

But don't expect photos of the glitzy event. Reporters and photographers covering Obama's vacation on Martha's Vineyard aren't permitted to attend.

An attorney and business executive, Jordan advised former President Bill Clinton and also played a prominent role in the civil rights movement. He's known the Obamas for decades. Last year both Obama and Clinton attended a party Jordan hosted on the island, where Jordan and his wife summer each year.

Last year's party presented an awkward moment for Clinton and Obama. At the time, Hillary Clinton was publicly distancing herself from Obama's foreign policy in the Middle East. Prior to the Martha's Vineyard event, Clinton said: 

“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘don’t do stupid stuff ‘is not an organizing principle,” said Clinton, referring to a phrase Obama and his advisers have used to summarize their thinking about global action in Syria. Clinton criticized Obama’s actions in Syria in particular, saying it was a “failure” to not arm moderate rebels fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad, reported The Christian Science Monitor.

This year, the rendezvous comes as the former secretary of state is working to fend off criticism of her use of private email for government business in the wake of her decision to hand over her private email server to the Justice Department. Clinton has seen her poll numbers in the presidential race decline in recent weeks, prompting fellow Democrats to urge Vice President Joe Biden to challenge her for the Democratic nomination. Obama isn't expected to endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary.

Clinton arrives in Martha's Vineyard from Iowa, where she promoted her proposals on child care and scholarships for student parents on Friday. Later in the month, the Clintons will vacation in the Hamptons in New York, where Clinton also plans to attend fundraisers for her campaign during her stay.

Obama and his family vacation every August on Martha's Vineyard, and he's been spending most of this year's two-week trip on the golf course, at the beach and dining at the island's upscale restaurants. Obama returns to Washington on Aug. 23.  

The tony New England island retreat was also a favorite vacation spot for President Bill Clintonwho vacationed on the Vineyard all but one year of his presidency.  


Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP

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