Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

When Was YOUR First Time With Obama?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Lena Dunham, creator of the HBO series Girls, has a new web ad in which she encourages young women to vote for Barack Obama by recalling that he was that special guy who got her into the voting booth for the first time, back in 2008.

    “Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy. It should be with someone who really cares about and understands women. A guy who really cares whether you get health insurance, specifically whether you get birth control. You want to do it with a guy who brought the troops out of Iraq.”

    Dunham continues:

    “My first time voting was amazing. It was this line in the sand. Before, I was a girl. Now I was a woman. I went to the polling station and pulled back the curtain. I voted for Barack Obama.”

    If you live in Illinois, though, you had a chance to lose your Obama virginity long before Dunham did. If you’re from Hyde Park, South Shore or Englewood, you could have lost it in 1996, when Obama first ran for the state senate. If you’re from Beverly, you could have lost it in 2000, when Obama ran for Congress against Rep. Bobby Rush. If you’re from the South Loop, you could have lost it in 2002, when he ran in his redrawn senate district. And if you’re from anywhere else in the state, you could have lost it in 2004, when Obama ran for the U.S. Senate. (My first time was in that March’s Democratic primary.)

    So tell us, readers, when was your first time voting for Barack Obama, and what do you remember about it?     

     

    This month, Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland’s Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President will be available on Kindle for $9.99. Tracing Obama’s career in Chicago from his arrival as a community organizer to his election to the U.S. Senate, Young Mr. Obama tells the story of how a callow, presumptuous young man became a master politician, and of why only Chicago could have produced our first black president.