Millennial Spotlight – RNC TV Director Carolina Hurley

I decided to continue my millennial spotlight series with a woman who I’m blessed to know and consider a close friend, Miss Carolina Hurley.


Carolina Hurley is the wonderfully loud and opinionated Director of Television for the Republican National Committee. Previously, she was the National Communication Director for the College Republican National Committee. Did I mention she just turned 24?

She was recently featured in Elle Magazine (!!!) with the amazing CRNC Executive Director Alex Smith in an article titled: “Not With Her, But Not With Him: The Women of the *New* GOP” I recommend you check it out!

I think the best piece of advice you can take from this interview is that she has a personal board of advisors. I think many of you are rising into the professional world and an inner circle like this seems like a smart idea. I definitely want one! (Hey Carol, want to be on mine?!)

I have a feeling Carolina has an even more impressive future ahead of her…so I figured I’d get an interview before she hits it big:

JJ: What was your college major?
CH: Double major in Political Science and Communications from Christopher Newport University

JJ: Any fun family information?
CH: I’m half Colombian. My mom immigrated to this country when she was 18 and her entire family now lives in Miami – great perk for me.

JJ: Who do you look up to? Who are your political inspirations?
CH: Besides the always obvious answer that I look up to my mom, there’s a ton of people that have impacted my life in inspirational ways. I have a personal board of advisors that help me make my career/personal decisions. People on the board range from people in my sorority to a former Senator.

JJ: What’s your favorite place in DC?
CH: The Capitol Rotunda. As cheesy as it sounds, it never fails to remind me why I’m doing what I’m doing and humbles me. As a former Hill-tern, it brings me a lot of nostalgia too when I remember old fun facts about the paintings/portraits.

JJ: Favorite restaurant/bar in DC?
CH: Restaurant? Filomena, for sure. Bar? Handsome Cock and The Brixton on U Street.

JJ: Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
CH: Running the world. Or maybe I’ll just start running in general

JJ: What do you think is the biggest issue in politics right now?
CH: Though I’m seriously passionate about gun rights and upholding the 2nd Amendment, the biggest issue is the federal deficit. Anyone who can look at a 20 trillion dollar debt and NOT think that that’s a huge issue needs to re-evaluate their priorities.

JJ: What are Hurley Happy Hours and how can people be invited?
CH: Hurley Happy Hours (HHH) are quarterly networking happy hours that I host with my immediate group of friends/professional contacts. I will usually invite 25-30 people and each of those people has to bring one person that I haven’t met before. I also bring a “special guest” to host the happy hour with me who shares their personal story of how they made it in DC and bestows any advice they have for up-and-coming DCers. There’s always a special drink named after me and my guest and most of the tab is comped. To get invited, just ask! As long as you’re willing to be social, have a good time and network, I want you to be there.

JJ: Does CRNC have any big plans for the fall?
CH: Absolutely. I’m not sure what exactly I can share about it right now but our field program is going to rock your world (and Hillary Clinton’s).

JJ: Message to millennials?
CH: JUST. VOTE. People all around the world die every single day for the right to have their voice heard within their governments. Don’t throw your power away because you “forgot” to register. Seriously, I’d rather have you vote for Hillary than not vote at all (but I’d like to have a serious talk with you about that first).

JJ: What have you been up?
CH: I recently was on a panel with 5 other women at Politicon in Los Angeles. The name of the panel was called “Fusion Presents: Change the Election, Change the World.” It was all about our different experiences as women in a game that for so long has been dominated by men. I was the only conservatives on the panel (and maybe one of the only ones in the room, for that matter), but it was absolutely incredible. I got to share the stage with a Black Lives Matter organizer, Bernie Sanders’ former press secretary, Allison Lundergan Grimes and a comedian from Comedy Central. How cool is that!

You can follow Carolina on Twitter @noitscaroleena (and yes, that’s how you pronounce her name!!)

Carolina, thanks so much for letting me interview you and even more for being such an inspiration for young conservative women everywhere! 

xoxo, Jessica

Never Good Enough?

Last week during the Democratic National Convention I tweeted: “we can only put cracks in the glass ceiling, because if they break it then fems have to find something new to be mad about” (@jessica_elise)

I’m sure several “new-age” feminists who follow me on Twitter rolled their eyes as they scrolled past my snarky tweet. But, after reading this Politico article, I don’t think I’m wrong.

This columnist is disappointed in the lack of millennials excitement over Hillary’s historical nomination. She acts as though we don’t care because we didn’t have to live through the struggles of the past. From a historical perspective, I think it’s cool to see people like the 102 year-old DNC delegate who cast her state’s votes for Hillary. She was 6 when women even got the right to vote. Things like that are pretty cool!

However, I am frustrated with this article because growing up, it’s been forced down our throats that girls and boys are the same and can do whatever they want. Our generation is the most accepting of gays and transgenders and mixed races relationships. We don’t bat eyelashes in situations that would have been scandal 50 years ago. But we’re supposed to all cry and care about Hillary Clinton being nominated?

The article says “Any parent of girls today can attest to the flood of girls-can-do messages: the pink engineering toys, the entrepreneurial Disney princesses, the minifig Lego girl scientists.” Acceptance and equality and political correctness has been taught to us since a very young age. But apparently we don’t appreciate this moment? I’m confused what our society is striving towards. Do we want girls to keep complaining or do we want girls to be empowered?

Yes, Hillary Clinton’s nomination was historical. But to millennials, female success should be commonplace, and I think that, for feminists, that should be an seen as a success, right? I understand she thinks we won’t fight as much for female equality, but she should understand that it really should be worth noting that our generation accepts women in leadership positions much more easily. I think it’s a positive view of the future, not negative. However, I shouldn’t really be shocked that now some feminists believe this isn’t good enough.

I apologize to this reporter for not having enough fireworks and doing enough cartwheels for Hillary’s nomination, but in 2016, this isn’t the most exciting. Let’s stop talking about the glass ceiling and start looking through it and looking towards the future.



Hillary Clinton: I’m NOT With Her

Last night, Hillary Clinton became the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party. According to social media, as a woman, I’m supposed to be THRILLED about this. Well I’m not. Hillary Clinton doesn’t stand for women and she certainly doesn’t represent me.

Hillary is all about referring to the “glass ceiling.” She’s even titled her recent book “The Highest Glass Ceiling.” Of course, this phrase is used when discussing that a woman hasn’t headed a presidential ticket for a major political party in the existence of America. In her speech last night, Hillary said, “Tonight’s victory is not about one person. It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible.”

I’m sick and tired of hearing about the struggle and sacrifice it took to get her to this moment. Do you ever hear Republicans use the phrase “glass ceiling?” No, you really don’t. Because Republicans, and especially Republican women, refuse to whine and complain about “barriers” put in place by crazy feminists and the liberal media. Instead of talking about how women are considered weak or disadvantaged, why don’t we spend time empowering them? Democrats complain, Republicans work.

Democrats are under the impression women only care about so called “women’s issues.” Well news flash, women’s issues are all issues. Just because I have a vagina doesn’t mean I can only think about abortion and birth control. I care about the economy and foreign policy just as much, even more so, than I can about those issues. I’m tired of being told I have to care about certain issues because I’m a woman. I have a brain that’s smarter than many men out there and I use it to my capacity to think about more things than how I can and cannot use my body.

Hillary Clinton claims to be a “champion of women” but she wins no medal in my book. Does anyone else see the similarity between this claim and that of the African American community rallying behind President Obama? In 2008, people claimed Barack would improve the lives of African Americans. So many people voted for him simply for his skin color. 8 years later and the African American community hasn’t been miraculously uplifted or changed. In fact, race relations have gotten worse under Obama. Why do people think Hillary is going to fix everything for women? Just because she is a woman, doesn’t mean she’s going to make the world sunshine and daisies for them. Voting for someone because of their gender is just as ridiculous as voting for someone because of their race.

I saw online last night someone make a comment saying; “Well now it’s time for a black woman to become president.” Seriously? How about “It’s time for a competent person to become president?” Why are we focusing so much on the gender and ethnicity of a candidate and not their competency and ability to lead? I wonder if the person who wrote that comment would support Mia Love, the brilliant African American Republican from Utah? I don’t care what gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. that someone is, I want a candidate that best represents my stance on issues. Period.

Hillary was NOT the only woman in this race. The liberal media tended to “forget” that Carly Fiorina was running a presidential campaign. Carly was an extremely smart candidate, not quite the right choice, but where were the feminists supporting her? Why couldn’t Carly be the woman to break this supposed glass ceiling? Because glass ceilings only exist to Democrats and their candidates.

Finally, this so called “champion of women” takes millions of dollars from Middle Eastern countries with the worst offenses against women, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar. If she were truly a champion for women, she wouldn’t accept this disgusting money. But Hillary Clinton is disgusting. She doesn’t care about women; she cares about money and power. She gives speeches about inequality while wearing an almost $13,000 dollar jacket. Stop giving her titles she doesn’t deserve and start calling her out for what she really is, a hypocrite, a liar, and a disgrace.

Tips for Interning in Washington, D.C.

Ah, May. The month Hillterns descend upon the nation’s capital with bright eyes and big dreams. Last summer I had the amazing opportunity to spend two months interning for the College Republican National Committee, situated right in the middle of things on K Street. While I’m thrilled to be interning back at home this summer, I’ll miss the hustle and bustle of D.C. There’s a sense of importance in the air, although that might just be the Potomac. I’ve compiled a list of some things I didn’t know before I started my internship, as well as some fun things to do when you aren’t working:

1.The Metro 

Coming from the Midwest, I’ve never really used public transportation like the Metro before. As an intern with no car, the Metro became my absolute best friend. It can certainly be pricey to maintain the card, but it’s a necessity. Number one thing I learned, walk on the left and ride on the right of the escalators. After only a week, I wanted to kill the tourists who rode the escalators on the left. Like I know you’re itching to see the White House but I’m late to work so kindly go to the right. If you follow this rule, you’ll be consider a D.C. pro, you’re welcome.

(The K St Exit was always so busy!)

2. Networking

Never ever never turn down an opportunity to network. During the summer, there are millions of opportunities for interns to network. Not only does this mean free food and usually an open bar (and unpaid interns can hardly turn that down!), the organization holding the event usually sends some important people. Before you get to the city, make sure you print business cards. I’m not joking. I handed these out like candy last summer and received many back. You’re living in D.C., so take advantage of the people you could meet! Not to mention, build good relationships with your bosses for those handy letters of recommendations you’ll be wanting (shout out to you Carolina!).

3. Be a tourist 

Obviously everyone wants to look like a native, but carve out time on your weekends to explore the city. I’m a history nerd so I thrived on seeing the monuments and going to museums. I spent a handful of Sunday’s wandering around the city in awe of the history. You’ll have time to kill so maybe spend it learning a thing or two!

(The amount of strangers I asked to take my picture in front of monuments is probably embarrassing)

4. Nationals Games

I’m not a huge baseball fan but there’s something about the Washington Nationals that I loved. Maybe it was the hotdogs outside the stadium or maybe it was the President races, but despite the reason, I highly recommend getting to a game! Even if you don’t like baseball, at least you get to look at Bryce Harper for a few hours. Just be warned, the Metro is an absolute zoo afterwards.

(You can’t beat these seats! Hi Bryce!)

5. Safety

My parents were real worried about dropping their baby off in a city alone. They armed me with pepper spray (fun fact, pepper spray is actually illegal in D.C.) and prayed they taught me some common sense. Lucky for them I never had any issues however D.C. can be sketchy in places. If you’re on the Hill, the Metro can be a far walk. I spent quite a few nights drinking at Hawk ‘n’ Dove and I always called an Uber to get back to American University where I was staying. Uber is one of the best ways to get around the city so I highly recommend downloading the app before you get to the city.

6. Money

D.C. absolutely wiped my bank account clean last summer. Food and drinks can be extremely expensive if you aren’t paying attention. If you’re able to, buy bulk groceries and try to meal plan for the week. If you’ve already bought food to eat, you’ll find it easier to resist the happy hour deal at the local sushi bar. Although food trucks line the streets, packing your lunch will save you so much money in the long haul. I tried to save during the week so I could splurge on the weekends and it seemed to work well so maybe it’ll work for you too! Here’s pictures of some amazing D.C. food!

(Cafe Divan, Wisconsin Ave, Georgetown)

(Buredo, 14th Street, yes, that really is a sushi burrito!)

Final Quick Thoughts

  • Baked and Wired is better than Georgetown Cupcake and has a significantly shorter line
  • Research free things to do, D.C. is full of them!
  • Get other interns to make a softball or kickball team to play in the National Mall League
  • U Street has great bars, but Dupont Circle will also show you a good time
  • I’m convinced brunch in D.C. is ten times better than brunch anywhere else
  • Make sure you have enough time to see all of the Smithsonians, I personally loved the American Art Museum!
  • The National Botanic Garden is a sanctuary in the city, be sure to check it out!
  • Paddle boarding on the Potomac was way fun and decently inexpensive!
  • Podcasts are a great way to pass time on the Metro because you can download them before and won’t require Internet (which is terrible underground)

(Paddle boarding on the Potomac)


(The National Botanical Garden, National Mall)

I hope you found this information useful! Make the most out of your summer in the capital because it’s sure to be one of the best you’ll ever have! If you have any advice I missed, leave a comment because I’d love to hear them.

Best wishes in the wonderful Washington, D.C, I wish I could be there!

xoxo, Jessica


Thank You, Slippery Rock

In a few short days I’ll be a college graduate. I’ll walk across a stage and get handed a couple thousand dollar piece of paper that says “hey this girl is smart, hire her!”

4 years ago I didn’t know what to expect (4 years ago I also drank Blue Wave and thought it was good so honestly, I really shouldn’t trust anything Freshman Year Jess thought). But here I am, days away from being an alum of Slippery Rock University. It’s almost surreal. What would my life have been like at any other school? My close friends and I came for lacrosse but to be honest, we stayed for each other. Western PA isn’t the most hoppin’ place in the world, let’s be real here. This wasn’t our favorite place but we had our favorite people by our side and that made walking to class in the rain almost every day worth it.

I am beyond grateful for the opportunities and experiences I was able to be part of these past four years. I think that’s the best part about a small school, involvement. I don’t think I would have been as successful at any other university. I held an executive position in Student Government and College Republicans as well as being a Division II athlete (I use the word athlete loosely). My life was busy and hectic but I loved every second of it. I had an internship after every year of school and I think I am prepared for graduate school and the real world, and really, what more can you ask for from a university?

I may have drank one too many Brewery beers and spent too much money on Coffaro’s Pizza, but I wouldn’t change a thing about my time at Slippery Rock. This sleepy little town gave me my best friends, a “rock solid” education, and some of the best years I’ll ever know. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, thank you, Slippery Rock. 

Every (Voting) Day Should Feel This Good

It’s finally Primary Day Pennsylvania!

A few months ago I had to change my voter registration to PA from OH and I was not thrilled about it. I’m very proud of my Ohio vote since “whoever wins Ohio wins the White House.” However, I’m working on a campaign (PA House 10th District, vote Aaron Bernstine!) and to legally get signatures to get him on the ballot, I had to become a PA voter. I thought to myself “ugh Pennsylvania hasn’t mattered in an election year in decades”


Honestly, I’m beyond thrilled that the GOP nomination hasn’t been wrapped up like it usually is at this point in the race. As you can guess from my last post, I proudly cast my vote for Ohio Governor John Kasich. There has been a lot of buzz the past couple of days about why PA is so important so I’m going to explain that real quick:

Voting in a primary is voting for delegates to the convention. In most states the delegates are “bound” to the winner of the state. However PA has a “loophole” ballot and the winner of the state gets 17 bound delegates but every congressional district has 3 unbound delegates. This means 54 delegates could be elected today that can be wild cards at the convention. Many delegates say they’ll vote for the candidate who wins the state, but they aren’t required to do so.  (For more info on this read this Politico article that I used!)

Anyway, this morning I went to the Slippery Rock Borough polling location and got the cool little “I voted” sticker that I’ll wear proudly all day (I wonder if my coach will be mad if I wear it on my jersey during today’s game…) My presidential candidate of choice was Ohio Governor John Kasich and I couldn’t be more proud to vote for someone I truly believe in!

(Naturally I had a voting day outfit! The link to my Vineyard Vines GOP shirt is here)

Why I’m Voting for John Kasich (and why you should too!)

(Gov. John Kasich and I, July 2014)

At this point in the presidential race, supporters of John Kasich are seen as hopeless. People say he should drop out. People say he’s ruining the race. But I think that’s just the opposite of what a smart Republican voter should be thinking. John Kasich is the absolute best candidate the Republican Party has and this is why I am casting my Pennsylvania vote for him next Tuesday:

1. He’s the only one who can beat Hillary Clinton in November.

Polls after polls are showing the favorability of John Kasich. He is a candidate independents can support in a general election. I want a Republican in the White House and the only way to do that is with John Kasich. I see Donald Trump and Ted Cruz being embarrassed in a general election. This site shows 6 head to head match up polls between Clinton and Kasich and the Governor wins every time by an average of 7.8 points!

2. He has experience.

Running a state is no joke, especially Ohio. Of course I’m biased because I hail from the Buckeye State, but Governor Kasich has made serious improvements to our state. Our economy is great and our budget is under control. One of the top complaints about President Obama is that he lacked experience before office. Kasich was a state senator, spent 9 terms in Congress and won the governorship twice in Ohio by huge margins. We need experience in office because our country is in a precarious state and Kasich has the resume qualifications.

3. He makes decisions based on the people. 

Many conservatives complain about the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio under Kasich. In my opinion, he didn’t expand it as a political stunt, he expanded it because he truly wanted to help his citizens and believed Medicaid was the way to do so. His reasoning was based on wanting to be able to say he helped the poor when he meets St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. This should resonate with the Christian conservatives in the base. I know it did with me! I will never fault a politician for attempting to improve the lives of their people even if it is an unpopular position in their own party.

4. He’s a realist.

John Kasich says he is a traditional man. He believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, when the Supreme Court made their decision last summer he said that was that and we must follow the ruling. He understands it is what it is in our country. He might not agree with the lifestyle but he accepts them and loves them still. And for that I truly respect him. The Republican Party has to adapt on some social issues and Kasich is one of the first I’ve seen do that.

5. He isn’t Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. 

Trump is Trump and Cruz is too conservative for me. Kasich is the only one who has acted like an actual adult in this race. I think he represents the party in a respectable way and I would be proud to have him as our candidate.

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Kasich formally announces campaign for 2016 Republican presidential nomination during a kickoff rally in Columbus

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during a kickoff rally in Columbus, Ohio July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

I know my candidate has a slim chance of being the nominee but I’m OK with that. I don’t want to support a candidate just because they’re winning. I want to support the man who I believe in. I want to support the man I believe would be the best for our country. And that man is Governor John Kasich.