-- By MICHAEL FALCONE
--BACKSTORY: Over the years Clinton has often shared her mother's life story, which was full of trauma and abuse. In Clinton's telling, Dorothy Rodham was abandoned by her parents as a young girl and sent to live with her unloving paternal grandparents in California. At the age of 14 she left home and found work as a housekeeper.
--WHAT TEAM CLINTON IS SAYING: "She is a well-known figure but when you're asking the American people to support you as president, even if it is for the second time, there is no skipping of steps," Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri said in a statement. "If you want to understand Hillary Clinton, and what has motivated her career of fighting for kids and families, her mother is a big part of the story. The example she learned from her mother's story is critical to knowing what motivated Hillary Clinton to first get involved in public service, and why people can count on her to fight for them and their families now."
with ABC's VERONICA STRACQUALURSI
SENATOR'S 'BRO' JOKE ABOUT LINDSEY GRAHAM'S BACHELORHOOD CAUGHT ON LIVE MIC. Lindsey Graham, Republican presidential candidate and bachelor of the U.S. Senate, is a "bro with no ho," his GOP colleague, Sen. Mark Kirk quipped Thursday during a Senate hearing. Kirk's comments were picked up on a live microphone during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, ABC's JOHN PARKINSON notes. "I've been joking with Lindsey," Kirk, R-Illinois, was heard saying. "Did you see that? He's going to have a rotating first lady. He's a bro with no ho." Danielle Varallo, Kirk's press secretary, dismissed the remark, writing in a short statement to ABC News, "This was a joke between friends." Thursday evening, Graham issued a brief statement reacting to the "joke" from Senator Kirk: "Sen. Kirk said he regrets the comments. I believe that is the appropriate response." http://abcn.ws/1MMjAXG
SCOTT WALKER PLAYS DEFENSE ON FUNDING BUCKS ARENA. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is doubling down on his defense of a deal to use $250 million in taxpayer money to build a new arena for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks. When ABC's JONATHAN KARL first asked the likely presidential candidate about the price tag on the new arena last weekend, Walker defended it as a "good deal" for Wisconsin. And yesterday, with some Wisconsin politicians publicly vocalizing their opposition to the arena this week and increased media attention swirling around the deal, Walker used his weekly governor's radio address to deepen his defense. "NBA players make a lot of money, and every time they play here in Wisconsin, we get a piece of that through state income taxes, from both home and away players," Walker said in the address, released Thursday. "That really adds up." "We hear your concerns," Walker, 47, said. "And that's why we took a long, hard look at the financial impact of investing to keep the Bucks here or just letting them go.' http://abcn.ws/1IKOxNl
WHY BERNIE SANDERS IS OFFENDED BY HILLARY CLINTON. Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders was asked at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast yesterday morning whether it offends him that Hillary Clinton hasn't taken a firm position on the trade bills now before Congress. "It does," the senator said. "You can be for it or against it. But I don't understand how, on an issue of such consequence, you don't have an opinion." Sanders, an independent competing for the Democratic nomination, pushed back against the notion that progressives are split on trade, saying that labor unions and environmental groups agree -- along with a majority of Democrats in Congress -- that President Obama and Republicans are wrong on trade. He added that Clinton's voice could influence the congressional debate, ABC's RICK KLEIN writes. "We need to speak out right now. Right now," Sanders said. http://abcn.ws/1C14NSx
AIR FORCE ONE REWARDS PROGRAM: PRESIDENT OBAMA THANKS TRADE SUPPORTERS WITH RIDE ON FLYING OVAL OFFICE. These days, trade is not just about exports, imports, manufacturing and jobs. Apparently, trade is also at least a little bit about political favors. Although House Republicans are expected to do most of the heavy lifting in providing votes to pass Trade Promotion Authority, President Obama has worked his personal touch to ensure his trade agenda does not fall by the wayside -- lobbying congressional Democrats to support what may turn out to be one of his lasting legacies during his second term in office. One key presidential perk at Obama's disposal: Air Force One. So far, 18 House Democrats have come out in support of TPA, and Obama invited four of them to join him on board the flying Oval Office for his trip to the G-7 summit in Germany last weekend, ABC's JOHN PARKINSON reports. http://abcn.ws/1I3DGbz
$2 BILLION OF YOUR DOLLARS WASTING AWAY, SAYS SENATOR. They may be have been outlawed in 2010, but Capitol Hill's favorite way of getting money for their pet projects is still costing the government loads of cash. A new report out Thursday from Sen. Jeff Flake's (R-AZ) office identifies billions of dollars in earmarks written into law before the ban that still cost the government years later, according to ABC's SERENA MARSHALL and JIM AVILA. "There's a lot of money still tied up in earmarks," Flake told ABC News. "Gratefully, we are not doing new earmarks, so the ban has worked pretty well. However, some of these old earmarks continue to be funded by the agencies. So that's a problem." The practice allowed a senator or representative to write in money for a local project or "pet project." http://abcn.ws/1GAxmNX
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
MICHELLE OBAMA WONDERED 'WHAT ON EARTH WERE WE DOING' IN EARLY WHITE HOUSE DAYS. Michelle Obama watched in anguish as she was about to send her two daughters off to their first day of school in Washington in 2009, the first lady now says of the doubts and frustrations she faced in the early days in the White House and during her husband's first presidential campaign. "As I watched my girls climb into those big black cars filled with agents with guns and saw Sasha's little face pressed against the window as her car pulled away, it hit me: What on earth were we doing?" Obama wrote in the upcoming edition of More magazine, which she guest-edited, ABC's JORDYN PHELPS notes. http://abcn.ws/1FVopby
@amyewalter: How much farther right can Walker keep moving before he imperils his gen elex chances? http://cookpolitical.com/story/8580
@JebBush: To the greatest man I've ever known. Happy Birthday, Dad. @GeorgeHWBush
@wpjenna: Scott Walker talks up his anti-abortion record in early primary states where evangelicals are a force: http://wapo.st/1B7AUFi
@NKingofDC: if a presidential candidate opposes fast-track, should s/he also vow, if elected, to repeal it or at least not use it?
@WSJPolitics: Almost no political pro thinks the Republican House majority is in danger in 2016. http://on.wsj.com/1C1k71u