October 25th, 2012
10:45 PM ET
9 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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

"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

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

- McCain says Mourdock endorsement up in the air

- 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. Eugene9

    Okay the Dem campaign does something idiotic. Not sure if it compares to massive voter suppression.

    October 25, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  2. Marcus

    Man, is this Joe The Plumberish or what?

    Mr. Hussein have to go. It's about time to remove this embarrassment from the White House.

    October 25, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  3. Jack

    Like her voting decision, Ms Dunham could use some grammar training. "now I was a Woman" Or, maybe in her mind, "was" and "am" have the same meaning.

    October 25, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  4. freedom

    Is this how the Obama campaign is trying to appeal to young women?? Very insulting. Young women actually do have intellect. This ad does not speak to that fact.

    October 25, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  5. Name

    This video is very demeaning to women. Very insensitive.

    October 25, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  6. Name realmiddleclass

    And you have to ask why the Real Middle Class wants this guy out of office?

    October 25, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  7. Holli Hollister

    So the Cons gasped about the virginity vid but do not bat an eye about one if their own saying a pregnancy caused by rape is God's will and whom Romney supports..

    October 25, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  8. Andrea Sharp

    Republicans a bunch of idiots. You know that Obama didn't endorse this. This is not news worthy

    October 25, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  9. Tish NC

    GOP get a clue!

    October 26, 2012 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  10. Andi

    I am disgusted and offended that this is apparently the perspective of the President of women in America, including myself. This is degrading, sickening, and sleazy; and disrespectful to the office of the President.

    October 26, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  11. Lindsay

    Gaggg. I need a shower NOW!

    October 26, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  12. Robert

    Somebdy needs to talk about Mitt Romney Son and others that is close to Mitt, about owning the voter machines in Ohio. Goggle it if you need to, the only thing I'm saying is; wouldn't that be a conflict of interest. I hope not; thanks.

    October 26, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  13. cmt

    Already passed, disgusted!! With the rudeness from Bidden to Obama, just plain messed up!!! How much more crap caan the American citizens endure of them both??????????

    October 26, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  14. Steve Shrader

    This campaign has officially jumped the shark.

    October 26, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  15. Fortinbras

    Its definitely meant for the millenials.

    October 26, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  16. Just watched it...

    Just watched it. This video is not what the article and Romney's campaign make it out to be.

    October 26, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  17. DJESQ

    The Business of America is Business ... Not Government
    Unfortunately, too many blue people don't believe that fact or understand it’s promise ...
    ... yes, we have become a nation of too many blue people ... too many young Avatar Americans …

    October 26, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  18. Just watched it...

    Frankly, Romney is just boring. He copies President Obama so much, Romney will probably start endorsing Obama tomorrow, just like at the debate.

    October 26, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  19. Donkey Party

    Bunch of prudes. The GOP is the American Taliban, make no mistake.

    October 26, 2012 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  20. Rogue351

    I agree you can only cast your first vote once. And if that vote is for Mitt it will be a one night stand and your fist vote will be meaningless. Mitt will turn around and hurt every single person in the USA in one way or another. Well excpt for his rich friends they will be ok. On the other hand Obama will be there trying to clean up the mess fom the last voters who got it wrong year before with Bush. You see your vote last longer than the memory of your vote. So do the right thing,Vote for cleaning up the mess not creating more of it.

    October 26, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  21. AK_steve

    I can't believe people found this offensive. I guess they prefer someone more "lady like". It's not like was talking about "legitimate" virginity.

    October 26, 2012 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  22. "Oust the House" in 2012, vote a straight Democratic ticket!

    I am sure no one under 80 found it shocking.

    At least folks will get this metaphor, unlike the "eastwooding".

    October 26, 2012 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  23. Just watched it...

    Seriously, nickmom on nickjr is more inappropriate.

    October 26, 2012 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  24. Louden Swain


    October 26, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  25. Susan

    I was MORTIFIED by the new Obama ad!!! If I was a democrat, this ad would be enough to make me 'not' vote for him!!!

    October 26, 2012 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16