A rare lunch date for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

US President Barack Obama will have a rare lunch today with former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who leads early polls among Democrats who could succeed him in 2016.

The White House did not provide any further details of the closed-door meeting scheduled for 12:00 pm (2130 IST).

After a long and bitter primary battle in 2008 the two Democrats papered over their differences as Mr Obama tapped Mrs Clinton to be the top US diplomat during his first term.
Mrs Clinton has refused to say whether she will run for president again in 2016, saying only that she needs a break after a grueling run as secretary of state in which she visited some 112 countries and logged over 950,000 miles.

However, within a few weeks of stepping down from the post Mrs Clinton began delivering speeches and groups have already formed around her possible candidacy.

In March, Mr Obama dined with Mrs Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, who had actively campaigned for his reelection last year.

The president is constitutionally limited to two four-year terms, and speculation over who might jump into the 2016 ring has already begun.

Mrs Clinton is widely seen as the frontrunner, at least on the Democratic side, followed by Vice President Joe Biden, who has also hinted at a possible run.

Either candidate would likely face scrutiny over age, as both would be considerably older than Obama was when he assumed office.

Biden will be 73 when the election is held in early November 2016 and Clinton will be 69.