Obamas and Clintons share intimate dinner

Washington's political rumor mill was buzzing Friday with news that President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle hosted an intimate White House dinner with Bill and Hillary Clinton.

The dinner, on March 1, was the latest sign of a warming of the relationship between the two power couples, which was once marked by deep mistrust following the president's 2008 Democratic primary win over Hillary Clinton.

"It was a private dinner that the president and the first lady enjoyed with president Clinton and former secretary of state Clinton," White House spokesman Joshua Earnest said.

"They enjoyed the meal and they enjoyed the conversation," he said, while declining to provide more details about the dinner, first reported by Politico.

Obama's decision to name Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in his first term, after she had campaigned for him in the general election, was the spur to warmer relations between him and the former president and his wife.

Bill Clinton campaigned tirelessly for Obama in his re-election race, and the president was delighted in the endorsement offered by the former US leader in a barnstorming convention speech.

Speculation is mounting that Hillary Clinton may launch another presidential campaign in 2016 with a view to succeeding Obama in the White House, a state of affairs that the March 1 dinner will do little to quell.