By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )
14 FOR 14: THE MIDTERM MINUTE
5 RACES TO WATCH TODAY. Primary season continues and today six states are voting across the country, including Virginia, South Carolina, Maine, Nevada and North Dakota, along with a run-off election in Arkansas. Today's marquee race is a primary that was supposed to be a much tougher establishment vs. tea party brawl for a senator hated by the more conservative wing of the GOP, but whether he wins without a runoff is what we will be watching for. There is also a challenger hoping to knock down a leader in Virginia, and although there aren't as many choices or potential surprises as last week, there are still plenty of races to watch, including a candidate backed by Oprah Winfrey. Here are five races to watch this primary Tuesday, courtesy of ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE : http://abcn.ws/1kM2LAz
WHY HILLARY CLINTON WOULDN'T ATTACK SARAH PALIN 'FOR BEING A WOMAN'. In Hillary Clinton's interview with ABC's ROBIN ROBERTS, today she responded to a tweet Sarah Palin sent yesterday saying a passage in Clinton's new book out today, "Hard Choices" shows "who fired the 1st shot in the real 'war on women'." ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE notes that Clinton admitted she was asked by the Obama campaign to "go out and criticize" Palin when she was selected as John McCain's running mate during the 2008 campaign, but she said, "'For what? For being a woman? No let's wait until we know where she stands. I don't know anything about her, do you know anything about her?' And nobody, of course, did." "I think it's fair to say that, that I made it clear, I'm not going to go attack somebody for being a woman or a man, I'm going to try and look at the issues, where they stand, what their experience is, what they intend to do and then that's fair game," Clinton said, noting in reference to Palin's tweet "that's not exactly what I said."
THE HILLARY CLINTON INTERVIEW: 21 REVEALING QUOTES. Hillary Clinton sat down with ABC's Diane Sawyer for an exclusive, wide-ranging interview, coinciding with the release of her new memoir, "Hard Choices." In it, Clinton weighed in on everything from her 2016 timetable to Benghazi to her hobbies after life as President Obama's secretary of state. Here are some of the highlights from their conversation curated by ABC's CHRIS GOOD: http://abcn.ws/1jgUgsJ
HILLARY ON BENGHAZI'S PERSONAL TOLL. In the interview, Clinton revealed that nearly two years after the terror attack on the Benghazi mission in Libya the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods still weigh heavily on her heart, ABC's DANA HUGHES notes. Clinton personally sent Stevens, an Arab speaker known for his big optimistic smile, to Libya. She told Sawyer that she was haunted thinking of the last minutes of his life along with technology specialist Smith. The men were hiding in a fortified room, suffocating to death as militants set the house on fire. Two former Navy Seals would also die that night at a CIA annex nearby, taken down by mortar bombs. "The hardest part is to think about Sean Smith and Chris Stevens- being trapped," said Clinton. "When I think about that it just breaks my heart because- diplomatic security personnel were performing heroically." In the interview, Clinton told Sawyer that she feels "crushed" and "overwhelmed by grief" when she thinks about the loss of "such good people and such extraordinary examples of what America stands for." http://abcn.ws/1kLqvF7
HILLARY ON 2016: I'D WORK LIKE AN 'UNDERDOG'. Hillary Clinton opened up about her failed 2008 presidential bid and told ABC's Diane Sawyer that should she run again in 2016, she'd work as hard as an "underdog," according to ABC's LIZ KREUTZ. "If I decide to pursue it, I would be … working hard as any underdog or any newcomer," the former secretary of state told Sawyer, when asked if the White House was hers to lose. "I don't want to take anything for granted if I decide to do it." Clinton also dismissed the notion that there have been too many "Clintons and Bushes" in the White House. "This is a democracy," she said. "People get to choose their leaders." http://abcn.ws/1ihVy6B
-LESSONS FROM 2008: In the interview, Hillary Clinton opened about the huge "disappointment" she felt after losing the 2008 presidential nomination to Barack Obama - and the lessons she learned from the experience. "It was personally painful," Clinton recalled. "My mother's crying, and my husband's looking very sad, and my daughter's looking very sad." She added, "I felt like I had let people down." http://abcn.ws/1ihVy6B
-REASONS NOT TO RUN: Clinton said the biggest reason not to run 2016 is that she's simply enjoying her life out of public office. "I really like my life, I like what I'm doing," Clinton told Sawyer. "I'm thrilled about becoming a grandmother in the fall. I have lots of hopes - for what that means - to me and my family." When asked by Sawyer if she could be both a president and a grandmother, Clinton said: "I want to know how I feel. I mean, we have one life to live. This is - this is it. It's not a dress rehearsal."
CLINTON TALKS MONICA LEWINSKY. Clinton talked Sawyer about Monica Lewinsky. Here is a partial transcript: http://abcn.ws/1jgTaNG
FROM SARAH PALIN TO RNC, REPUBLICANS PUSH BACK ON NEW CLINTON MEMOIR. With all eyes focused on Hillary Clinton's new memoir, "Hard Choices," leading up to its release today, Republicans have been weighing in on Clinton's account of her tenure as secretary of state and preparing a media offensive of their own to offset the attention the book has received. From opposition groups to the Republican National Committee, conservatives are challenging the importance and details of Clinton's account of her time at the State Department with a book of their own. ABC's BENJAMIN SIEGEL has an overview: http://abcn.ws/1qjHf6v
HERE ARE A FEW OF HILLARY CLINTON'S 'FAVORITE THINGS'. Hillary Clinton may already be the Democratic presidential frontrunner, but she likes to root for the underdog - at least when it comes to reality television, notes ABC's ERIN DOOLEY. Clinton, a fan of ABC's hit show, "Dancing With the Stars," said this past season she found herself cheering for perennial runner-up Maksim Chmerkovskiy (who was paired with Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis) rather than five-time winner Derek Hough. "I did watch it faithfully this season, and I really like both Max and Derek, but I was very happy that Max finally won," Clinton laughed. "I don't know what the man would have done with himself had he not. I was really worried." During the interview, which took place at Clinton's Washington, DC home and covered everything from Benghazi to Putin to presidential ambitions, she discussed a range of topics, from her perfect day to one of her favorite hobbies: http://abcn.ws/1pdSe3V
CLINTON PUSHES BACK AGAINST IRAQ ALLEGATIONS IN BOB GATES BOOK. Hillary Clinton took issue with the startling allegation in former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' memoir that Clinton's opposition to the 2007 Iraq troop surge was borne of politics, reports ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE. In Gates' memoir, "Duty," released in January, he wrote that he once overheard Clinton telling President Obama that her opposition to the 2007 surge had been "political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary." In his book Gates writes that Obama conceded that his opposition to the surge was politically motivated too. "To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying," Gates wrote. When asked about this observation, Clinton told ABC's Diane Sawyer, "I think he perhaps either missed the context or the meaning because I did oppose the surge." "The public had given up," Clinton said. "This is not politics in electoral, political terms. This is politics in the sense of the American public has to support commitments like this. I opposed the surge." When pressed about whether Gates "got it wrong" and if she did indeed say this in front of him, Clinton said she had "no memory" of the conversation. "I don't in any way doubt what he heard," she said. "I'm just saying that there was a much broader context than that." http://abcn.ws/1kLjXGn
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
OBAMA EXTENDS STUDENT LOAN DEBT RELIEF TO MORE BORROWERS. President Obama yesterday moved to close a "loophole" in regulations aimed at easing the burden of repaying federal student loans, notes ABC's DEVIN DWYER. Obama signed a presidential memorandum ordering the Education Department to extend monthly repayment "caps" to nearly 5 million student borrowers by December 2015. "At a time when higher education's never been more important, it's also never been more expensive," Obama said at an event in the White House east room. "Over the last three decades, the average tuition at a public university has more than tripled, at the same time that the typical family's income has gone up just 16 percent." Today, 71 percent of those earning a bachelor's degree graduate with debt, which averages $29,400, according to the White House. Total student debt in the U.S. topped $1 trillion last year. http://abcn.ws/1uN9j4Q
WHAT WE'RE WATCHING
PROTÉGÉ OF SARAH PALIN AND CONDI RICE GUNS FOR SENATE SEAT IN ALASKA. He once worked for Sarah Palin and has been dubbed a "protégé" of Condoleezza Rice. Now Dan Sullivan is fighting to become a high-profile conservative brand name of his own, trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska in one of the most closely watched political races of the year. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin appointed Sullivan attorney general in 2009. Before that he worked within President George W. Bush's inner circle as a senior adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Now, Sullivan has the task of convincing GOP primary voters that he is Alaskan enough, among other things, to win a spot on the ballot in November. "Alaska in many ways is a mindset," said Sullivan, who some have accused of being a carpetbagger born in Ohio, without legitimate Alaskan roots. "I moved to Alaska 17 years ago, was married 20 years ago, my kids and family were raised in Alaska … I've dedicated my life to my great state and my family has and we love it up there." More of ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE and DEVIN DWYER's interview with Sullivan: http://yhoo.it/1kWNvSD
@markknoller: Pres Obama today signs bill authorizing Congressional Gold Medal to honor 65th Infantry Regiment, only Latino-segregated unit in US Army.
@PhilipRucker: After book signing in NYC, Hillary Clinton goes to Chicago for paid speech tonight to United Fresh Produce Association. Tomorrow: Rahm Q&A.
@carenbohan: White House-Congress rift over Bergdahl deal deepens, by @ReutersZengerle http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/10/us-usa-afghanistan-bergdahl-congress-idUSKBN0EL01920140610 …