After tweeting last week in support of President Obama and marriage equality, Lena Dunham, star and creator of HBO’s Girls, spoke Monday evening about the urgency of re-electing the president. After delivering prepared remarks laced with her signature sarcasm in a live chat with college journalists, Dunham opened the floor to questions. “Preferably ask me complicated foreign policy questions,” she joked.
Dunham says that she feels strongly about supporting Obama because his first term in office has closely lined up with her egalitarian ideals. “No matter where you come from, no matter what you look like or who you love or what music you listen to, even if you like Nickelback, you can go as far as your smarts and hard work can take you,” she said of Obama’s America. Her plea took a personal turn as she applauded the president’s stance on gay rights. “I hope one day to be able to dance my ass off at my sister’s wedding. She’s gay and the idea that we would not share the same set of rights is horrifying to me.”
Celebrities who identify as Democrats are historically an outspoken bunch, and Dunham took a moment to explain why she has entered the political ring. “The audience I try to connect to through my work is young people who are in that challenging moment after college when you don’t know what’s going to impact what you’re going to eat for lunch, or your entire future. It seems like politics fits really beautifully into that set of concerns,” she said.
In making the case for the president’s re-election to a college crowd, she pointed to progress made in the realms of student loans, equal pay for women and health care. “We need to make sure Obamacare gets fully implemented. It means we can stay on our parents’ health plans until we’re 26,” she said. However, her concern that this window was closing for her – “I’m now 26, so it’s terrifying that I’m on the precipice of leaving this,” she said – didn’t quite ring true, given her recent $3.5 million book advance.
Dunham also took a moment to reflect on her years at Oberlin College, which, she reminded her audience, ended just four years ago. “I remember what it was like to be on campus during the campaign. We had mad debates, lots of tension and Jake Gyllenhaal visited once to support the Democratic candidate, so that clearly made an impression on me.”