October 25th, 2012
10:45 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama video compares voting to losing virginity

(CNN) – Conservatives seemed to collectively gasp Thursday night when a web video from President Barack Obama's campaign slyly compared a person's first time voting to losing one's virginity.

The star of the video, Lena Dunham, created and stars in the HBO show "Girls." In the video, she appears in a close-up shot explaining the first time she voted.

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"Your first time shouldn't be with just anybody," the actress and writer says. "You want to do it with a great guy."

The unspoken comparison continues, as Dunham describes what kind of "guy" she's talking about.

"It should be with a guy that really understands women," she says. "A guy who cares whether you get health insurance, specifically whether you get birth control. The consequences are huge. You want to do it with a guy who brought the troops out of Iraq. You don't want to do it with a guy who says, 'Hey I'm at the library studying,' when really he's out not signing the Lilly Ledbetter act."

At the end, the metaphor becomes even clearer: "My first time voting was amazing. There's a line in the sand. Before I was a girl, now I was a woman."

"I went to the polling station, I pulled back the curtain. I voted for Barack Obama," the video concludes.

Dunham, whose show on HBO centers around her character's life as a young woman in New York City, doesn't shy away from risqué topics. In a taped opening at this year's Emmys, she was featured completely nude, eating a cake on a toilet. HBO, like CNN, is owned by Time Warner.

Conservatives expressed consternation at the Obama campaign video, suggesting it was a step into the gutter for the incumbent Democrat.

"The more we talk about it in this campaign, the more insulting it is to women," Kellyanne Conway, a Republican strategist, said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

"They can do the math. Not everything has to be about biology," Conway said.

The reaction was similar on Twitter.

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

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– Obama: The 'other guy' is a 'bulls**ter'

– Romney beats back on 'horses and bayonets'

– Obama's Facebook warning


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama
soundoff (397 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    “I know what it’s like to pull the Republican lever for the first time, because I used to be a Democrat myself, and I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great.”

    -RONALD REAGAN, October 1980, while running for POTUS and quite blatantly referring to the pain experienced by a woman her first time having intercourse.

    October 26, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Yanni

    Lovely lady she really is a gifted performer and wonderful artist very creative add

    October 26, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. hank

    Another day, another case of conservative outrage. Good, I hope the rightwingers are worked up in to a nice lather. I hope it culminates in a full on hissy fit come November 7th. While they are standing around scratching their heads wondering how they possibly could have lost, I guess they will have nothing left but their dumb ideas and their fake outrage.

    October 26, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. Jim

    This is probably the one topic that could lose the election for Obama, and ironically it has nothing to do with politics. This ad carries the very real potential of causing Obama to lose the white male vote, if it catches fire.

    October 26, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. Phil

    Soooo, if the idea is to save your vote for "a great guy" then I guess there will be no new voters in this election...... Now if you want to vote for the lesser of two evils..... vote away!!!!

    October 26, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    Now that everyone has had their fun ... Romney had an ad out which was very similar to this one. And while it was directed at women - not first time female voters - and was worded more subtly, the message was the same.

    If memory serves, there was no faux outrage from the right about that ad.

    October 26, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. Todd Miller

    By reverse corollary, the message being sent here is that losing one's virginity is no bigger deal than voting the first time. Is there anyone at all out there who wants to say this to their children?????!!!!?????

    October 26, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. FLIndependent

    The problem with Repubs is that they are extremely narrow minded and stuck in their ways. They don't like the fact that the world has changed and keeps evolving; that is why they are trying desperately to go back to the 1950's. This ad is a way to reach out to the ladies who will be voting for the first time and there is nothing wrong with the comparison it makes as it also is enforcing not to "to do" with just anybody but be very selective which is a wise message so get over your self-righteousness please.

    October 26, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. macranthunter

    Couldn't they have gotten someone who looked a little older? This is just...ick!

    October 26, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. macranthunter

    Couldn't they have chosen someone who looked a little older? This is just...ick!

    October 26, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. speakfreely22

    I am quite use to the "language," but this ad reminds me of a low budget movie. I don't know how old this woman is, but she acts like a giddy young girl with no maturity. It's amazing the whining by liberals about what Republicans intend to do with respect to women rights. First of all, you are so easily brainwashed by your liberal mainstream media. Romney never said anything about taking away your contraceptives where if you don't have money you can get at Planned parenthood and by the way, they don't do cancer screening. Romney never said a thing about reversing Roe v. Wade although the woman who was Roe has put out an ad telling people not to vote for Obama because he kills babies. She says she was talked into filing the law suit by a feminist attorney and regrets all the babies that have been killed because of it and has to take that to her grave. It's not that most of us haven't heard the language, it would just be nice if there was some class shown by the dems. Oh and by the way, the Obama administration pays the women in the White House less than the men. Why is this an issue when there's the economy and all the lies by this administration with respect to Libya and 4 people being killed. They knew within 2 hours it was a terrorist attack and not some video.

    October 26, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. rapierpoint

    Lynda/Minnesota – what ad would that be? Can you give us some details as to when, who narrated, etc so we can see for ourselves?

    October 26, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. Skadams

    The girl in this video (who I thought was a guy at first) is actually suggesting that being screwed by Obama is a good thing.

    October 26, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. Miguel

    I get the analogy. Lots of people felt they got screwed after voting for Obama.

    October 26, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Jason

    The analogy makes sense. For an unfortunately large percentage of people both tend to happen while their judgement was impaired.

    October 26, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    @rapierpoint

    It aired around Aug or Sept. I'm not going to spend the time looking it up, but the content was directed at women who had previously voted for Obama, and, seemingly, now that the Obama "ecstasy" was gone for them, they were headed for a new "ecstasy" ... Mitt Romney.

    Do goggle it yourself. I suspect you already know which ad I'm talking of.

    October 26, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. ying

    I wonder how our President would feel if this was his own daughters portrayed in this ad?

    October 26, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. Wanda

    I think this ad is a new low for a president of the USA. What part of his body is he thinking with, it sure is not his brain.

    October 26, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  19. First Time

    Once you vote b l a c k ...

    October 26, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  20. First Time

    but seriously, this is just gross. I know it's a PAC, but there's tacit approval if there's no disapproval.
    If this gets traction, fogetabout it.

    October 26, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. tired of lies

    Glad my teenaged daughter won't see this on the web. Oh wait she will, what idiot would put this out. Maybe one who in front of his young daughters calls the other guy a bull sh xxer. No class, none whatsoever and since he has been in office the world knows it. A vote for Obama is a vote to pull the United Stated towards being a thrid world nation.

    October 26, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    “I know what it’s like to pull the Republican lever for the first time, because I used to be a Democrat myself, and I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great.”

    -RONALD REAGAN, October 1980, while running for POTUS and quite blatantly referring to the pain experienced by a woman her first time having intercourse.

    “I know what it’s like to pull the Republican lever for the first time, because I used to be a Democrat myself, and I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great.”

    -RONALD REAGAN, October 1980, while running for POTUS and quite blatantly referring to the pain experienced by a woman her first time having intercourse.

    “I know what it’s like to pull the Republican lever for the first time, because I used to be a Democrat myself, and I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great.”

    -RONALD REAGAN, October 1980, while running for POTUS and quite blatantly referring to the pain experienced by a woman her first time having intercourse.

    “I know what it’s like to pull the Republican lever for the first time, because I used to be a Democrat myself, and I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great.”

    -RONALD REAGAN, October 1980, while running for POTUS and quite blatantly referring to the pain experienced by a woman her first time having intercourse.

    “I know what it’s like to pull the Republican lever for the first time, because I used to be a Democrat myself, and I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great.”

    -RONALD REAGAN, October 1980, while running for POTUS and quite blatantly referring to the pain experienced by a woman her first time having intercourse.

    “I know what it’s like to pull the Republican lever for the first time, because I used to be a Democrat myself, and I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great.”

    -RONALD REAGAN, October 1980, while running for POTUS and quite blatantly referring to the pain experienced by a woman her first time having intercourse.

    “I know what it’s like to pull the Republican lever for the first time, because I used to be a Democrat myself, and I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great.”

    -RONALD REAGAN, October 1980, while running for POTUS and quite blatantly referring to the pain experienced by a woman her first time having intercourse.

    October 26, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. mac

    Yep, the world has changed... I wonder if that’s what the Romans were thinking during the decline and decay of their society. We will get what we deserve if we reelect this president.

    October 26, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. taumy

    SO, WHAT?

    This world is full of people, people that all have their own personal views and their own personal way of expressing them.

    October 26, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    Hahahaha,...awesome...thanks moderators...that's just plain funny you let that one fly haha

    October 26, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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