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Hillary Clinton: Teaming up with Obama was 'unexpected'

Publisher Simon & Schuster released the author’s note for Clinton’s upcoming book “Hard Choices” on Tuesday morning.
U.S. President Barack Obama has lunch Hillary Rodham Clinton on the patio outside the Oval Office, July 29, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama has lunch Hillary Rodham Clinton on the patio outside the Oval Office, July 29, 2013.

In her upcoming memoir, Hillary Clinton describes being nominated secretary of state under President Barack Obama – after their bruising 2008 primary battle— as “unexpected.”

Publisher Simon & Schuster released the author’s note for Clinton’s "Hard Choices" on Tuesday morning. The potential 2016 presidential candidate says she frequently encountered critics, including friends, who asked her “Are you out of your mind?” when she made life-changing decisions, like leaving her career as a lawyer in Washington to move to Arkansas to marry Bill Clinton, (unsuccessfully) taking on health care reform, and accepting Obama’s offer to be secretary of state.

But Clinton says when it comes to making tough decisions she “listened to both my heart and my head.”

The memoir, which comes out on June 10, will be scoured for any indication that Clinton is planning to run for president in 2016 and will certainly raise her profile in the lead up to the decision. She has said she’ll declare by the end of this year whether she’ll launch a second bid for president. Her remarks in the book surrounding the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in particular will likely pored over as well, as Republicans have repeatedly accused Clinton of a cover-up.

Clinton said in the author’s note that she expects criticism from “followers of Washington’s long-running soap-opera – who took what side, who opposed whom, who was up and who was down” but that she “didn’t write this book for them.” The former first lady said: “I wrote it for Americans and people everywhere who are trying to make sense of this rapidly changing world of ours, who want to understand how leaders and nations can work together and why they sometimes collide and how their decisions affect all our lives.”

She specifically mentioned the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in 2011, calling it as “crisp and courageous a display of leadership as I’ve ever seen.”

On a lighter note, Clinton said she mulled over numerous titles for the book, especially after Washington Post readers sent in suggestions. “My favorite was ‘The Scrunchie Chronicles: 112 Countries and It’s Still All about My Hair,” she joked, referring to the public’s obsession with Clinton’s hairstyle over the years.

She ends by saying one choice that hasn’t been hard is “serving our country,” calling it the “greatest honor of my life.”

Political action committees – both for and against a Clinton presidential run – see opportunity in the memoir’s release. The Ready for Hillary super PAC views the book tour as an organizing opportunity to build on their 2 million person-plus supporter list in the event that Clinton does run. On the other side is the America Rising PAC, which started a “Stop Hillary 2016” fundraising initiative. Tim Miller, the executive director of the group told msnbc earlier this month that some of its employees are going through historical records for potential ammunition in the event that there are any factual inaccuracies in Clinton’s forthcoming memoir.