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.

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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. jnpa

    What's the fuss about? Wait, I know. Every dem ad regardless of content causes the GOP to gasp! What is wrong with the GOP other than thinking we are still in the early 1900s and wanting to take us back there? Sorry GOP, I want us to go forward, not backward.

    October 26, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. doug sams

    Yep, a vote for Obama make me feel like I've been screwed too.

    October 26, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. Scott Stams

    "conservatives seem to gasp" my mother is no conservative, far from it, and she gasped too.

    October 26, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    syl P

    Outrageous! ! women fought to earn respect, equal pay, and rights based on intelligence and character.

    I am of the generation that fought the hardest for women's rights. The only outrage today is that Republican men want so very much to take all our hard earned battles away from us. Including Mitt Romney who is unwilling to actually come out against the real outrage of Republican domination against women.

    October 26, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. BinaryTooth

    LIbs know it all but done. Especially with the Libyan situation unraveling and exposing the criminally negligent behavior of the Obama administration.

    October 26, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. Michaela

    Please correct me if I am wrong but I believe it has been 41 years since women have the legal right to have an abortion.
    Yet every election it becomes a political football for the Democrats.
    It is a private and sensitive matter and really shouldn't be tossed around.
    As a woman I feel offended that these clowns think I am stupid enough to fall for their rhetoric.

    October 26, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. Adevarul

    Her next ad features a voting booth with a condom dispenser attached. In that vid she says, "Uh, he forgot to wear one of these and I caught siph."

    October 26, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Fannie

    OMG! America is going down the toilet. Time for the right-wing Tea/Repub Morality police to take over!!! Not.

    October 26, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Art

    Much preferable to someone who takes completely different stances depending on what audiences he's speaking to. That kind of unethical, immoral, flip-flop pandering makes Romeny a word completely opposite of virigin.

    October 26, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    DSM-IV needs to incorporate a new diagnosis for conservative faux outrage. Freekin ridiculous.

    October 26, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. phoenix86

    Finally, we know what that tingle in Chris Matthews leg really was.

    October 26, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. Jeffrey

    Comparing voting for Obama versus losing Virginity.... a lot of people go with just anyone who are total jerks. A lot of people regret who they chose the first time around, and wish it were done differently. You're not going to get "the Big O" when voting for Obama.

    October 26, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. Jane Smith

    It is a brilliant ad. GOP and conservatives are upset because all they can do is be negative and lack creativity.

    October 26, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. JOHN

    What party is anti woman???.....how pathetic is this. Yea, u women cant keep your legs closed..u are to inferior, so might as well open them for the "right" guy...lol....way to go dems.

    October 26, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. Corey

    That's just stupid. Nothing to be worried about here. If any bimbo would vote for Barry after seeing that ad, they're probably a good candidate for genital mutilation or a labotomy.

    October 26, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. jane

    really...is this what the fuss is about...ok...wake me up when the election is over

    October 26, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    If this ad is effective then we probably deserve Obama.

    October 26, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. Lindsey

    Oh. And telling a raped woman that the spawn growing inside her is a "gift from God" or that her body recognizes the sperm from a rapist and prevents her from getting pregnant somehow ISN'T insulting to women?

    It's imbecilic comments like THAT which are insulting to women. And you can always depend on them spewing from a dumbo Republican's mouth like uncontrolled diarrhea.

    October 26, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. Kevin H

    I first thought this was a SNL sketch mocking election commercials.

    Fun fact: Lena Dunham is old enough that she would have been able to vote in 2004. So either she is lying about Obama being her first...or this commercial is an unintentional criticism of Kerry not be being good enough for her first time...

    October 26, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. Guest

    her and the obamaphone lady are typical obama voters. Neither have concern for the country.

    October 26, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. Bessy

    @ Susan-Easily mortified aren't you. I guess you never go to the movies anymore. The language in them is what I find a problem, not this ad.

    October 26, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. nilla

    It sounds to me like the problem is the interpretation of the video and not what is actually said in the video. Of course, we can say, "you know what they were hinting at", but doesn't that implicate us?

    For a funny, somewhat-related comment, look up what Dee Snider said about Tipper Gore's interpretation of Twisted Sister song lyrics during the PMRC hearings in the 80s.

    October 26, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. david

    Conservatives gasp at this???? BUT ROMNEY embraces a person who thinks pregnancy from rape is "God's will"
    GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!

    October 26, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. Barak Lincoln

    Well if you think the President Screwed ya you haven't seen nothing yet, especially considering the republicans idea of rape, the gasp at the idea of this comaprison about one losing their virginity but in the same breath turn around and say hey you cant ger pregnant becuase you can shut that thing down (weird) and if you do get pregnant and you were raped its God's will... That's not the time for a gasp that's calls for an asthma attack!!!

    October 26, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    I'm a woman and I'm grossed out by this ad. EWW. For me, this election is about the economy, national debt, and foreign policy - and not about free birth control. Come on people.

    October 26, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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