Obama and Clinton Hold Private Meeting at White House Swing Set

By Lindsey Ellerson

Apr 9, 2009 6:07pm

ABC News’ Jon Garcia reports: Every once in a while the carefully choreographed movements at the White House don’t go quite as planned.  Witness today’s "oops" moment. Members of the press corps returning from an event on the South grounds of the White House unexpectedly surprised President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a "private" walk.  They emerged from the Oval Office and strolled down the path to the Obama’s swing set and picnic table on the lawn just outside.

Obama and Clinton were chatting alone, trailed only by the White House photographer, when the president spotted approximately 20 journalists who had stopped in their tracks about 30 yards away. The president smiled and waved. But the smile went away when the journalists took out cameras and started shooting. As the president waved off them off, nervous press staff tried to round up the media as quickly as possible.  However, the press stayed long enough to witness what looked like a "picnic table" strategy session of sorts between Obama and Clinton.

It took about ten minutes for the Secret Service and press office staff to figure out how to get the journalists off the grounds without again interrupting the president.  Obama and Clinton were still sitting at the picnic table, deep in conversation, when the reporters finally left the scene.

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