October 25th, 2012
10:45 PM ET
8 years 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.

[tweet https://twitter.com/PatrickRuffini/status/261639609300185088%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/EWErickson/status/261617752136114176%5D

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

    As a republican, and a US Marine, I'm voting for Obama.

    October 26, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  2. jasmine kelland

    For all the anti-Obama moralsts here, this particular "virginity/first time voting" joke was first made by Ronald Reagan, the man Mitt is trying to emulate. You really should catch up on your recent political history before mouthing off as usual.

    October 27, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  3. shooots

    This is insanity...the whole election process is insane...i

    October 27, 2012 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  4. shooots


    October 27, 2012 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  5. Deb from Kansas

    What this really is a distraction from the 4 Americans killed in Bengazi and why the President and his administration LIED about it to the American people. They watched the attack live and then told Americans it was about a video. That was a made up story. Amazing. And CNN is talking about a video – disgusting as it is – instead of the real news and the story about why 4 Americans who asked for extra security were turned down and then in the mist of a terror attack were turned down 3 times for additional help.

    October 27, 2012 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  6. Old West Texan

    Amazing that Republicans will force a rape victim to give birth, or even claim that "real" rape doesn't result in pregnancy, so if it does, it was consensual, but I'm supposed to be up in arms over a mild simile?

    They're just mad because a woman is being allowed to talk in public.

    October 27, 2012 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  7. Bob Dole

    Let's ponder for a moment whether a "first time" voting promotion might be targeting people who will be voting for the... wait for it... first time, and by vast majority will be between the ages of 18-24 and might appreciate the double entendre a bit more than a bunch of middle-aged people protecting their offsprings virgin eyes and ears. Food for thought.

    October 27, 2012 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  8. Mike12354

    Funny ad,great way to get out the youth vote. When Obama wins it's going to be hilarious to see the GOP OD on anti- depressants, while the world smiles with relief that we didn't get fooled by the lying, two faced clown they nominated.

    October 27, 2012 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  9. whitestmanonEarth

    Vote for Romnesia if you like your job going to China just like the people at Senseta. Vote for Romnesia if you like another depression. Vote for Romnesia if you like another war. Vote for Romnesia if you haven't already heard the closed door speech on how he don't give a fxxk about half of the people of this country. Well if you vote for him, I am really proud of you greedy SOB.

    October 27, 2012 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  10. Daniel from California

    I am a democrat who will be voting for Obama. That said, I agree that the innuendo in this commercial is unacceptable and distasteful.

    October 27, 2012 04:30 am at 4:30 am |
  11. Jill

    Offensive ad!

    October 27, 2012 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  12. AFD

    I see. Conservatives have no problem with seeing a rapist impregnating his victim as a sign of God's will, but a humorous comparison of voting with another rite of passage leaves them horrified. WIll their sanctimonious hypocrisy never cease?

    October 27, 2012 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  13. shell517nj

    More whining from the republican and conservative parties. Regan said something similar when he campaigned as a republican, he said, "when he pulled the lever in the voting booth it didn't hurt as much" lol.

    October 27, 2012 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  14. JL Gottffred

    This ad is so degrading to the office of the President. I expect better from someone with two young daughters.

    October 27, 2012 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  15. ascpgh

    How fitting; angst over sacking out with Bath House Barry then find out your brief relationship has left you with something that you cannot get rid of.

    October 27, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  16. Jack B.

    There are some whack job Republicans out there that think that Rape is God's will. However, (and fortunately), that's not the guy who is running for President of the United States – Mitt Romney. This ad on the other hand WAS approved by our current President. I am starting to wonder if Obama is in fact trying to lose the election by doing something this stupid. I can't remember the last time Obama actually ran an ad that talked about his agenda for his second term. Sad.

    October 27, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  17. Proteios1

    It's not good, but at least consistent, that obamas camp uses women for their gain and casts them aside to experience the ridicule of others when done using them.
    Wow. It is just like the first time....

    Yep. No war on women here. Just convincing women they want what we tell them they want.
    But rest assured. Obama made sure she was given birth control before making the add, and if anything results from the ad, she can abort the child

    October 27, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  18. jasmine kelland

    Elaborating on Ronald Reagan's "virginity" joke – he said switching from Democrat to Republican only hurts once, and then it feels great.

    October 27, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  19. JR

    Obama is so concerned about his daughter having a facebook page but doesn't stop to think how this video will affect her more than facebook ever will. Remember your kids will "DO what YOU DO" and NOT "DO what you SAY"!!! That being said, he certainly should be concerned about his kids, don't you think???

    October 27, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. virtualmonk

    Benghazi has fractured Obama's support all across the country. The youth vote seems to be relatively immune to Obama's faults and failings, but, just in case, his campaign decided to release this video to shore things up. While it may succeed with the youth, it will likely further damage his support amongst all other voting groups. Ah, the irony!

    October 27, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. ncvike

    In reply to MNAnonymous: Because Mr. and Mrs. Obama aren't rich, right?

    October 27, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  22. Tom

    lol a woman talking about her virginity is "insulting to women" said a man for the other team. That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. This is not gutter talk, this is just a woman discussing some similarities of a situation, kind of like an awareness that I think more people need to have.

    October 27, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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