The Note: Hillary Clinton's Campaign Is About To Get Personal

June 12, 2015, 9:23 AM



--CLINTON TO UNVEIL TALK-ABOUT-HER-MOM STRATEGY AT FIRST CAMPAIGN RALLY: Hillary Clinton spent the opening weeks of her campaign addressing policy issues like criminal justice reform, voting rights, and equal pay for women. But as Clinton transitions to a new, more intense phase of her campaign, expect her to get personal. At Clinton's first official campaign rally this Saturday in New York City, aides say the Democratic presidential candidate will make her most extensive pitch yet on why she should be president. And her late mother, Dorothy Rodham, will play a central role. "No one had a bigger influence on my life or did more to shape the person I became," Clinton wrote of her mother in her most recent memoir, "Hard Choices." According to ABC's LIZ KREUTZ, at Clinton's rally this weekend, where Bill and Chelsea Clinton are expected to make their first official campaign appearances, Clinton will explain how her mother's story has motivated her to run for president.

--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."

--THIS WEEK ON 'THIS WEEK': Potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Clinton campaign senior adviser Joel Benenson come to "This Week" Sunday. And the powerhouse roundtable debates all the week's politics, with ABC News contributor and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, ABC News contributor and Republican strategist Ana Navarro, editor and publisher of The Nation Katrina vanden Heuvel, and Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden. Be sure to use #ThisWeek when you tweet about the program. TUNE IN SUNDAY:

--ANALYSIS -- ABC's RICK KLEIN: As the House votes, probably but finally, on President Obama's trade agenda, it's useful to take stock of what the fight has done to the Democratic Party and its 2016 debate. For starters, as Sen. Bernie Sanders pointed out Thursday, the trade issue has not divided the progressive community so much as it has cleaved it from more moderate, pro-business Democrats -- including, of course, the White House. Howard Dean's brother, Jim, speaking on behalf of Democracy for America, warned Democrats who vote for fast-track negotiating authority or Trade Adjustment Assistance that "we will encourage our progressive allies to join us in leaving you to rot." Yes, rot. It's going to take more than a presidential trip to a baseball game to unwind comments like that. As for 2016, Hillary Clinton's decision to not engage -- and not even take a firm position -- is itself a policy stance that has frustrated liberals along the way. But they don't seem to have penetrated the debate in a way that's made the Clinton campaign reconsider. The fact that a debate that's torn Democrats apart to the point that they're threatening to let each other "rot" has played out without the participation of the overwhelming frontrunner for president is nothing short of remarkable.

SCENES FROM A FOREIGN TRIP: JEB BUSH ON HOW HIS 'VIEWS HAVE EVOLVED OVER TIME'. On the third day of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's European trip, perhaps the toughest questions he had to face dealt, not with EU sanctions or Ukraine, but comments he made in a book written over 20 years ago, ABC's CANDACE SMITH notes. Bush has faced fresh scrutiny from a chapter in his 1995 book "Profiles in Character" and his subsequent adoption law. During a media availability on Thursday in Warsaw, Poland Bush was asked if his views had changed, to which he replied, "The book was written in 1995, my views have evolved over time but my views about the importance of dads being involved in the lives of children hasn't changed at all." He later said that he wished people would look at his full record as a governor, not just one passage of the book, jokingly encouraging reporters there to go out and buy the book, as it was "not a best-seller." The law in question was the 2001 so-called Scarlet Letter law that required a woman, who wanted to put a child up for adoption but didn't who the father was, to post an ad in the newspaper with her personal information and details of when and where conception may have occurred. It was ruled unconstitutional by state courts, repealed in 2003 by the state legislature -- a repeal signed by Bush.



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."

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.'

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.

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.

$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."


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.


@amyewalter: How much farther right can Walker keep moving before he imperils his gen elex chances?

@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:

@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.

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