While Ferguson convulsed, Obama and Hillary had fun at "hug summit"

It was unclear if the two actually hugged, as a statement from Clinton press aide Nick Merrill had joked they would. But they certainly made clear that they were moving past a controversy that both sides described as overblown by the media.

“The president and first lady also were happy to have the chance to spend time with Secretary Clinton and former President Clinton,” said a White House spokesman.

The dinner took place amid a somber backdrop nationally, as riot police in Ferguson, Missouri, the site of a police shooting of an unarmed black man over the weekend, used tear gas to hold protesters at bay. Obama put out a statement on the shooting Tuesday, and on Wednesday night, a White House official said Obama was briefed on the ongoing situation by senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and Attorney General Eric Holder.

In Obama’s toast, he joked that he met Vernon before he met his wife but that he liked Ann more, and “a good time was had by all,” the spokesman said.