Remember the HRC Squirrel? He’s a Georgetown Student

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In a summer full of hard news, one less serious story managed to get the media’s attention. During Hillary Clinton’s book tour for “Hard Choices,” a giant orange squirrel followed her and the Ready for Hillary bus to share its message that “Another Clinton in the White House is nuts!”

That squirrel was none other than Justin G. (COL ’15), a senior at Georgetown who interned at the Republican National Committee this summer.

Justin, who asked not to use his last name because he didn’t have permission from the RNC, where he is still interning, began his summer as a press intern in the committee’s Eisenhower Internship Program. A government major with minors in economics and Chinese, Justin worked with the RNC’s Asian/Pacific-American press staffer, compiling news clips from Chinese language news sources every morning.

A week into his internship, Justin, 21, also became the RNC’s resident squirrel, complete with his own Twitter account (@HRCSquirrel). The squirrel and its handlers showed up at four of Hillary’s book tour stops, and though the suit hasn’t made an appearance in over a month, it’s still inundated with requests for appearances at local GOP events.

Back at Georgetown this semester, Justin’s not sure if the squirrel will return, but he did share the highlights of wearing a squirrel suit during the D.C. summer and stalking Hillary.

When did you start the squirrel part of the job?

About a week in. They told us they wanted to do this media thing because Hillary was starting her book tour and they had a giant squirrel suit and they wanted one of us to wear it. I half-volunteered, half-was volunteered by the other interns. After a week I guess they’d already pegged me as the guy to be in the squirrel suit, and I think the staff had too. Also, there were only three guys, and one guy was too small, one guy was probably a little too talkative, so I think I fit the mold pretty well.

So they had the suit lying around? Had they used it before?

They used it in 2008 for something called the ACORN voter scandal. It was called ACORN, so we got the squirrel suit, and then they had it lying around in the communications director’s basement for six years. I don’t think it had been cleaned.

Did you clean it?

I febrezed it pretty thoroughly. I spent about two days febrezeing the suit and I’m not sure if it helped.

Walk me through a day in the life of a squirrel.

There were very few opportunities to do it. That only happened a couple times. First thing I usually do when I get to the office is find the Chinese language news clips for my staffer. There’s a meeting at 9 a.m. where everyone runs through what they’re going to do in the day. I hang around, work on whatever tasks they’re going to give me and then whenever it was time to do my squirrel event, throw my costume in a big trash bag, throw it over my shoulder and go wherever we needed to go. Either I’d take it there or I’d put it on in the office and take a taxi or an Uber there. That happened a few times where I’d walk out of the office in the suit, hop into an Uber and take the head off because that thing is obnoxiously hot and really hard to breathe in.

One time a local newspaper, the National Journal, was doing a giveaway. They hired a food truck to give away chicken and waffles in the morning, right outside our office, so there was a line down the block right outside. So impromptu in the middle of the day they had me get up throw on a suit, get some chicken and waffles as the squirrel. That’s a really short thing we did. The longer events it’d be going out, standing out for however long I had to be there having my handlers with me hand out flyers and bumper stickers, and then head back to the office.

What did your family and friends think when they found out you were the squirrel?

From my parents, it was very interesting — they wanted it to be anonymous, totally anonymous. It hasn’t worked out as much as they planned because it’s on my resume, it’s now on my LinkedIn. It is places that label me as that. My mom is a Democrat, leans Democrat. My dad leans Republican. They both wanted it to be relatively anonymous, but my mom came around to it once Hillary got out of the car, gave me the book, tried to talk to me a little bit. My mom thought it was a little bit cooler after I told her I had shaken Hillary Clinton’s hand.


More ABC news videos | ABC Entertainment News

How was all the media attention?

There was really none on me because it was pretty anonymous. Once stories started breaking, in particular after “The Colbert Report” did something about it, most of my friends put two and two together pretty quickly that an RNC intern named Justin was in a squirrel suit. There really wasn’t any media attention on me per say. Had anyone really wanted to find out it wouldn’t be that hard, but it wasn’t that much. It was interesting because people were like, “Wow, you’re a local celebrity.” I wear a squirrel suit — that’s not anything really special.

What reaction did you get at the Hillary events?

It depended on the event. For example, the first event we did was a GW book reading. She read some clips of her book and then took questions from the audience about the book. That was mostly people who didn’t get it, didn’t get the joke or were pissed off about it. At that event there was one senior lady who was in a wheelchair who was up on the stairs into the auditorium — I was on the ground level — who started yelling at me from across the crowd. There was a huge line in between us, and she told me she would come kick my ass if I went up there. I didn’t really know how to react to that so I just kind of ran away.

The Ready for Hillary people were fantastic, which was very interesting. Some were turned off by it, but some were like, “Wow, this is kind of funny.” They at least pretended to be glad we were out there showing a different point of view.

The most interesting one was the Costco event, which was probably three hours long, which was pretty brutal in the suit. She was doing book signings at Costco in Crystal City, and most people there, it went way over their heads, like, “That’s awesome, we’re nuts for Hillary too!” and we didn’t really know what to say to them so we just kind of went, “yeah!” People everywhere, there are always people who are pissed off basically, who thought it was childish and a waste of money. Granted, we ended up making a significant amount of money on that campaign. We ended up selling bumper stickers and we only bought five shirts, and they actually made a solid chunk of money since they already had the suit.

My favorite were the calls we would get after this started to break. People would say, “I refuse to give any more money to the Republican Party until the suit and the intern in it both burn.” Most people just ignored it or ignored me. Some people were very hostile.

Did you talk at all in the suit?

I did once. If you watch the video where Hillary comes up and talks to me, it’s interesting because I’m pretty convinced she had a mike on and they were trying to get me to say something. If you watch the video, her voice is very clear. There are sirens and noise going on — it’s in the middle of D.C., there’s street noises — but her voice is very clear. I didn’t say anything that time. The one time I did say something was at the Costco event, a couple Chinese tourists came up to me and wanted to take a picture. I heard them speaking Chinese before. After we took a picture, I thanked them in Chinese, and they were very confused and kind of flabbergasted as to what was going on. I actually had a little conversation with them. They wanted to know if I spoke Chinese, who was I? I was like, “Oh, I’m a student,” stuff like that. It took them a little while to come back and ask me if I actually spoke Chinese — they were just trying to figure it out, if I’d actually said what they thought I said.

Can you tell me a little bit more about meeting Hillary?

It was a very classy move on her part. We all agreed on that. Honestly, it was a shock to all of us, no one expected that. The first story said it’s an intern in a squirrel suit — who cares, it’s another D.C. summer intern, who really cares what he thinks, what he’s doing, this is just a media stunt. We were waiting for her to pull in and our spokesperson was like, “All I want you to do is wave at the car, be really happy, jovial to see her.” The car turns the corner and stops, and we were like, “What’s going on? Is she just getting out and walking in? That’s fine, gives me more time to wave to her.” Secret Service pour out of the car, which is kind of intimidating in and of itself, especially when then Hillary gets out and then makes a beeline for you. She was very nice, very sweet. She just said, “Hello, Mr. Squirrel, I hear you’ve been following me around. I just wanted to make sure you got a copy of my book and I hope you make the hard choice to read it.” She gave me the book.

People in the office were very happy I didn’t throw it down or be obnoxious to her at all. I just figured she’s a very high profile, important person, regardless of political views she’s a very powerful individual and deserves a significant amount of respect. I took it — I would have thanked her, but I did my best with hand motions to thank her. I made sure I didn’t let her leave before she shook my hand. In the video, it kind of looks like she turns around to leave and I kind of stick my hand out in front of her. I figured I’ve got to take advantage of the opportunity. It was a very cool experience. I was kind of in shock for a little while about it — she’s a former secretary of state, former first lady, possible presidential candidate. She’s a big shot. It was pretty cool.

Have you read “Hard Choices”?

I have not. The book has now become the office’s. I’m still working to get it back. I have a picture of me with the book. That’s all I have.

Where’s the squirrel suit now? Is someone going to break it out again?

We’ll see, who knows. Maybe when we get closer to election time it’ll come out again. There are a plethora of invitations for the squirrel to show up places, and I’m still interning there so you never know when it’s going to come back.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

HILLDOG: Hillary on the Hilltop

HillToday, the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) will graciously host the former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Gaston Hall! Along with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and former First Lady Laura Bush, Clinton will talk about promoting peace and progress in Afghanistan in order to advance Afghan women.

Hillary Clinton, former First Lady, former Senator of New York, former Secretary of State, is without a doubt one of the most respected politicians in America. She is often known for her quick retorts, solid stances on the issues and fantastic pant suits. Let’s review what makes Hillary so glorious:

This is Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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This is also Hillary Rodham Clinton, circa the time she embodied the peak of coolness at Wellesley College:

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Hillary’s fashion sense has only gotten better since then. For example, her hair in the 90s:

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(Although the hair changed, Clinton never did. Pure poetry. As she once snarkily said “If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle.” Preach!)

Some First Ladies might feel inferior to their husbands. Not Hillary. Bill knows Hillary doesn’t care about what he says. She is one of the world’s most eloquent supporters of women’s rights

Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely — and the right to be heard.

We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.

Too many women in too many countries speak the same language — of silence.

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It’s not easy being the best, but through all the stress, Hillary has remained classy and strong. She composes herself masterfully. For example, she can be totally hip,

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or totally get-out-of-my-way serious

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or even crush those who stand in her way.

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She stands up for herself when she has to

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and stands up for what she believes is right.

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It’s time that we move from good words to good works, from sound bites to sound solutions.

Hillary has always been truly amazing and isn’t even close to reaching her peak. You can be sure to see this class act when you go see Hillary speak in Gaston tomorrow at 10:00am!

Photos: Buzzfeed, Washington Post, Biography 

Inspiring Quotes by Laura Bush on the Future of Afghan Women

Laura BushTomorrow morning, former First Lady Laura Bush will join Secretary of State John Kerry and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Gaston Hall to discuss the future of Afghan women. Over the past decade, Mrs. Bush has been an impassioned champion for for the advancement of women in Afghanistan. To give a taste of tomorrow’s event, 4E has featured some of Mrs. Bush’s most uplifting quotes:

When we look around the world today, when we see in Afghanistan that 10 million people have registered to vote in their upcoming elections, including 40 percent of those people are women, that’s just unbelievable.

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For many Americans, the situation in Afghanistan seems too complex and too far away to confront. I worry that the message we are sending to Afghan men, women and children is that their lives are not worth our time or attention. That message must change – we cannot abandon them.

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Fighting brutality against women and children is not the expression of a specific culture; it is the acceptance of our common humanity – a commitment shared by people of good will on every continent.

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The plight of women and children in Afghanistan is a matter of deliberate human cruelty, carried out by those who seek to intimidate and control.

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Civilized people throughout the world are speaking out in horror — not only because our hearts break for the women and children in Afghanistan, but also because in Afghanistan we see the world the terrorists would like to impose on the rest of us.

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The fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women.

 

We can’t wait to welcome you back to the Hilltop tomorrow and hear what you have to say, Mrs. Bush. (Hopefully we’ll get a few more quotes to add to our list!)

Photos: Wikipedia, Stoykovich, White House Archives, LA Times, Georgetown, Bookish

The Many Faces of John Kerry

The Many Faces of John KerryHere at The Fourth Edition, we love to take the time to appreciate the many speakers who grace us with their presence on the Hilltop. We’re fortunate enough to have many big names in government, business and culture share their knowledge with us. Nov. 15 will be no different, as three political all-stars – John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush – take to Gaston Hall to discuss the future of Afghan women. To prepare for this event, we at 4E have decided to give you a rundown on the many faces of Secretary of State John Kerry. Take a peek for yourself:

This is John Kerry.

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He’s a pretty cool guy.

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He’s also very intelligent: He has received degrees from both Yale University and Boston College Law School.Kerry_graduation

From 1968-1969, he served a four-month tour of duty in South Vietnam, and for his service, he was awarded numerous medals, including a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts. Later, Kerry became an outspoken member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War Group, testifying numerous times in front of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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For many years, Kerry served as a United States Senator representing Massachusetts.

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He even made a presidential bid in 2004 with running-mate John Edwards …awkward

… which, unfortunately for them, ended in a loss to incumbent President George W. Bush.

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Things have since gotten better for Kerry. He now serves as the 68th United States Secretary of State …

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… though some believe that he is secretly an Oompa Loompa.kerry-oompa-loompa

Regardless, he’ll be speaking tomorrow at Georgetown on the future of Afghan women. We can’t wait to hear you speak, Secretary Kerry!

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Photos: Wikipedia, Forbes, MSNBC, Vice Presidents, Breitbart, CS Monitor, Free Republic, Bigstory AP, CNN

Look Who Just Joined Twitter!

Madeleine Just Joined TwitterThat’s right. There’s a new tweeter in town, and it’s none other than our favorite  brooch-branding former-Secretary-of-State-turned-Georgetown-faculty-member, Madeleine Albright.

As of yesterday, Secretary Albright had officially set up a Twitter. Her first tweet, which featured a nifty photo of her in a “Tweet” pin (how festive!) read:

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Though new to the Twitter scene, Secretary Albright has sure hit the ground running. She’s already been tweeted at by – and has responded to – Suzanne Philion (@SuzKP) and Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton). She’s also talked about one of her special musical talents.

To find out more about Madeleine’s entry into the Twitter-verse, check out her page here and be sure to follow her at @madeleine. And, as always, be sure to follow us @thehoya4E for our latest stories, tips and tricks. Happy tweeting, Hoyas! (That includes you, Madeleine!)

MARCH MADNESS: Notable Alumni Round 1

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Welcome to the first installment of 4E’s March Madness: The Best of Georgetown. Our first matchup: Bradley Cooper vs. Patrick Ewing. (Scroll down below the poll to see the second matchup)

First off, how can you say no to this smile?

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But on the other hand, you can’t say no to this swag either…

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In their time on The Hilltop…

BCoops took the stage as Casanova and was also a member of the crew team

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While Ewing … well, of course, was on the courts being Patrick Ewing

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Bradley Cooper has starred in many popular movies, including The Hangover and Silver Linings Playbook

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BUT PATRICK EWING WAS IN SPACE JAM…

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Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Bradley Cooper has been nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, three People Choice Awards, three Teen Choice Awards, five MTV Movie Awards and two Screen Actor’s Guild Awards.

Patrick Ewing was NBA Rookie of the Year (1986), All-NBA First Team (’90), All-NBA Second Team (’88, ’89, ’91, ’92, ’93, ’97); 11-time All-Star; named one of 50 greatest players in NBA history (’96); and a two-time Olympic gold medalist (’84, ’92).

In the end, the seeding came down to the incredible amount of attention Bradley Cooper has received by the readers of this blog and the deplorable lack of sports knowledge by a vast number of people at this school. Who will win? VOTE HERE:

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[POLL NOW CLOSED! STAY TUNED FOR RESULTS ON 3/24)

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 And here is the second Round 1: Notable Alumni matchup.

President Bill Clinton vs. Fictional presidential daughter Zoey Bartlet

At the time of his inauguration, Clinton (age 46) was the third-youngest president ever elected.
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Zoey Bartlet is the third-youngest daughter of President Josiah Bartlet on The West Wing

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President Clinton graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Kappa Kappa Psi and earned a Rhodes Scholarship

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Zoey graduated summa cum laude from The Hilltop. On the day of her GU graduation, she was kidnapped and held hostage for several days.

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Zoey dated Jean Paul …

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… While Bill snagged himself one of the most powerful women in the country

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These two political figures will have to duke it out for the votes of the many Hoya West Wing fans and Billary’s many supporters. VOTE HERE!:

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[POLL NOW CLOSED! STAY TUNED FOR RESULTS ON 3/24)

Sunday Night Wrapup: Obama v. Romney, Round 2

As we plunge deeper into exams, papers, projects, and assignments, the world continues to spin. If you find yourself completely unaware of recent happenings, don’t fret! We’ve got you covered with the latest news.

  • The Hilltop tuned into the second Presidential debate, watching both the presidential candidates discuss foreign and domestic policy. This debate proved far more intense than the last one, with verbal fistfights and alongside the moderator’s controversial fact-checking intervention. The general consensus agrees that Obama was far more aggressive and alert this time around, to which he jokingly refers to at the Al Smith Memorial Foundation dinner as being well rested from the “long nap” he had in the first debate.
  • If you missed last week’s Presidential debate, tune in to the last one tomorrow at 9 pm! The two candidates will be discussing foreign policy; so don’t forget to brush up on the facts prior to the viewing.
  • Hillary Clinton came to campus on Thursday (in case you didn’t notice the lines wrapped around Healy filled with students trying to get a spot in Gaston Hall). Many did not get succeed. Not to worry, if you were wondering what she talked about, you can get the scoop here.
  • Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake finally tied the knot after five years of dating! The couple got married in Italy on Friday. The newly-weds had a relatively private ceremony in the city of Fasano.
  • Clashes ensue after funeral of Wissam al-Hassan in Beirut on Friday. Protesters called for the Prime Minister to resign and police responded with tear gas and warning shots.

A Look Into Hillary’s BlackBerry

Hey girl…Ever wondered what our Madam Secretary of State has been texting? The latest meme to pop up on everyone’s Facebook newsfeeds and Tumblr dashboards features the one and only Hillary Clinton.

The original photo by Diana Walker for Time magazine was for the cover story “Hillary and the Rise of Smart Power” back in November of last year. The photo was taken aboard a C-17 flight in Malta as Hillary took one last peek at her Blackberry before taking off for Tripoli.

Texts from Hillary, founded by Stacy Lambe and Adam Smith about a month ago, has made its way about the web. In fact, it has even come up on Hillary’s staff’s radar. And what does our beloved Hillary think about the site? Well, Hillz loved it.

She loved it so much that she sent in her own meme and made a personal appearance to meet with the co-founders. Word on the street is she’s embracing this new “inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food” look and has definitely taken a different approach to technology since her 2008 bid for president. Does this mean she’s back–harder, better, faster, stronger? Will we be seeing “Hillary for President” signs again in 2016? Hopefully!

One more word on these memes. I’m curious as to what she thought of Bill being in contact with Mon again. On another note, I’m having trouble choosing between her text to John Boehner or her response to Condoleeza Rice as my favorite one. Which one is yours?