The home of distinguished stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Penelope Cruz, Brooklyn Heights is unsuspecting and private, yet well-accustomed to a famous face or two. And so is Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters, based in the heart of the affluent neighborhood.
Since the launch of Clinton’s campaign, a number of celebrities have stopped by, including actresses Salma Hayek, Amy Schumer and Amy Smart. Kim Kardashian and Olivia Wilde have attended Clinton campaign events. Yet despite her appearances alongside Hollywood’s finest, Clinton is facing her sharpest poll drops in months, including a slip with young female voters.
On Tuesday morning, "Girls" actress and Brooklyn Heights resident Lena Dunham was added to the list with the release of her exclusive interview with the Democratic front-runner at Clinton campaign headquarters. The interview, posted on Dunham’s site LennyLetter.com, is the latest in Clinton’s efforts to appeal to her constituency through celebrity outreach.
The campaign is banking that Dunham, an outspoken advocate of “internet feminism,” is one famous figure who can refashion Clinton’s reputation from party juggernaut to social justice activist.
Dunham is known among her millennial fans for her advocacy for women’s rights in the digital age through social media – and most recently through her email newsletter “Lenny.” According to the HBO star, “Lenny” is for “people who want to talk about radical politics but also want to talk about fashion and also want to talk about Rihanna.” The newsletter offers subscribers a weekly dose of feminism in an effort to increase young women’s political engagement.
Sitting down with the actress to discuss personal convictions as well as politics, Clinton was offered the chance to display to Dunham’s readers her self-proclaimed passion for young people and women’s rights. During the interview, Dunham brought up several issues concerning young women today, including student debt and police brutality, but she also asked Clinton about her past experiences and fears as a lawyer from Arkansas.
“My 20s were very formative but by no means a clear path. I ended up after law school working for the Children’s Defense Fund, which I loved,” Clinton said. “[CDF founder] Marian Wright Edelman is one of my personal heroes. And then I went to work for the impeachment staff that was investigating Richard Nixon.”
The interview with Dunham, which included a comedy sketch at Clinton’s campaign headquarters and an appearance from comedian Amy Schumer, shed a humanizing light on the Democratic front-runner, who also spoke about her college years, her early fears about marriage and her favorite dresses.
Just a few weeks ago, Refinery29, a fashion and lifestyle website geared toward 20-something women, released an exclusive sit-down interview with Clinton entitled “Clinton’s Message for Millennial Women.” In a similar tone to Lena Dunham’s interview, the Refinery29 interview covered an array of social issues affecting millennial women, from equal pay to sexual assault on college campuses. During the interview, Clinton even comment on how a young female athlete convinced to run for office back in 1999.
“Then, all of a sudden, this young woman is basically saying, 'Hey, don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk,” Clinton said. “And it was from that moment in mid-spring of 1999 that I really began seriously to think about it.”
In conjunction with these two interviews and her celebrity interactions, Clinton has consistently highlighted her support for women’s rights on social media. On Twitter, Clinton has posted consistently about her new campaign #WomenForHillary, and had become vocal in her defense of Planned Parenthood. Her Instagram is also filled with feminist appeals, including pictures of her with young supporters and historical female figures like Sandra Day O’Connor.
Whether Hillary Clinton will successfully mobilize young women through leveraging these stars’ influence is still unclear. But it doesn’t hurt to have interviewed with one of Hollywood’s most outspoken feminists.