Hillary Clinton sits for interview with Lena Dunham
In an effort to reach out to millennial women voters, Hillary Clinton will appear in an interview opposite Girls star Lena Dunham, set to post online Tuesday, POLITICO has learned. The already-taped segment also includes comedy sketches filmed at Clinton’s Brooklyn campaign headquarters, including a cameo by comedian Amy Schumer.
The pair make something of an odd couple: Dunham is the queen of oversharing, while Clinton can come across as overly scripted. But in a short clip of the interview reviewed by POLITICO, the former secretary of state appears relaxed. In the full interview, Clinton will engage with Dunham in an intimate discussion about what her own life was like in college, and the ambivalence she felt in her early 20s about her own life and career path, according to a spokesperson for Dunham’s new website, LennyLetter.com. The interview will be available to the site’s newsletter subscribers.
Clinton will discuss campaign issues that resonate with Dunham’s target audience, like student debt and women’s health. In the clip, Dunham, dressed in a checkered jumper, sits across from Clinton in a folding chair and asks: “Do you consider yourself a feminist?”
“Yes,” Clinton responds. “Absolutely. I’m always a little bit puzzled when any woman of whatever age, but particularly a young woman, says something like, ‘well, I believe in equal rights but I’m not a feminist.’ Well, a feminist is by definition someone who believes in equal rights. I’m hoping that people will not be afraid to say, that doesn’t mean you hate men, it doesn’t you want to separate out the world, so you’re not a part of ordinary life — that’s not what it means at all! It just means that we believe that women have the same rights as men.”
Clinton’s message fits in with her efforts to make gender central to her campaign, framing women’s issues like equal pay, childcare, and paid sick leave, as major economic issues.
Dunham’s team reached out to the campaign about a possible interview earlier this summer. The full interview — filmed in Manhattan on Sept. 8, the same day Clinton appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — will be posted on Dunham’s new online digital newsletter. The site is billed as “an email newsletter where there’s no such thing as too much information” focusing on feminism, style, health and politics, and debuts Tuesday with the exclusive Clinton interview.
Clinton is not a viewer of Girls, a popular HBO series that chronicles the lives of 20-something women making their way in Brooklyn, but her communications aide Kristina Schake said: “Hillary was drawn to Lena’s unique voice, dynamic talent and strong commitment to women’s rights. Hillary and Lena had a strong connection, which comes through in this intimate, engaging interview.”
The online interview appears to be part of a new phase of Clinton’s online media strategy to engage young women voters — last week she sat for an interview with the website Refinery29, a site targeted at young, fashion-forward women, to discuss sexual assault.