Hollywood stars are already jumping into the 2016 presidential campaign, and the latest to become involved is Lena Dunham. The Girls creator flew to Iowa to fire up voters in to support former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“We are here, we are ready to lead,” Dunham said Saturday to a crowd of mostly women in Des Moines. “We need to commit to caucus. That’s my new favorite phrase to use in the Hawkeye State.”
Iowa's caucus will kick off the primary season on February 1, where Clinton is running neck and neck with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Dunham has been campaigning heavily for Clinton over the past few days, making stops in New Hampshire and Chicago as well as taking over the presidential hopeful’s Instagram account.
Standing in a “Hillary Clinton”-print red, white, and blue dress, Dunham laid out the main reasons she plans to vote for Clinton — and also one reason that doesn’t make the list.
“Nothing in the world, literally nothing, gets me angrier than when someone implies I’m voting for Hillary just because she’s female,” Dunham said to cheers from the crowd. “To say that is like saying I have some feminist version of beer goggles — let’s call it estrogen blindness — which forces me to walk towards the closest person with a vagina and vote for them.”
Dunham said that Clinton’s work on women’s rights won her over back in September, when she did a sit-down interview with Clinton for her newsletter, Lenny.
“We discussed a range of essential issues, and she didn’t just impress me with an understanding of these issues, but also a clear plan for working through them that can often seem so impossible to tackle,” she said, which included addressing the wage gap and the right for a safe and legal abortion.
Dunham said voting for Clinton is a vote for women’s rights and also provides a unique opportunity to make history.
“Especially as women, who we vote for is just as important as the people we rally around,” said Dunham, who admitted to not voting until she was 22. “In 2016, we have a unique opportunity to do all of that and elect our first woman president. Women’s rights are the most important thing in the world, because as Secretary Clinton has said, women’s rights are human rights.”
While Dunham may be more outspoken than Clinton, listeners drew parallels to the two, such as being relatable and advocating for women’s rights.
“I love that Lena is a real person and she’s so down to earth,” said 20-year-old Caitlin Wilson. “Hillary can’t quite be like her because she’s a politician, but I definitely do think they both align on women’s rights issues and it’s great having a candidate who is so pro-woman.”
Other attendants added getting the millennial vote could be the biggest thing Dunham brings to the Clinton campaign.
“I think she really energized the youth, if you look around most people are under 30,” said Paul Ranum, a 27-year-old who admits he’s more of a Bernie Sanders fan. “I think that’s something Hillary has really struggled with and Bernie has been able to capture the younger vote because he’s more radical, so [Lena speaking] definitely helps.”
Sarah Mannheimer said she believes that empowering younger women is the best bet to put Clinton in the oval office. “I think she can bring younger voters to the polls but also create an excitement as a powerful feminist,” said Mannheimer, a 40-year-old who had her 6-year-old daughter in tow. “I do think it will continue to be an issue and I think it’s great to empower younger women. We need someone like [Dunham] to get a Democrat back in office.”
One of the biggest strengths Clinton has are endorsements, which Dunham only adds to. Actor Tony Goldwyn, otherwise known as President Fitz Grant on Scandal, and singer Katy Perry have also visited Iowa to campaign for Clinton in recent months.