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. susan mahan

    I'm not outraged. As a Romney supporter I love it. I think it's a stupid move and insulting to women. By all means, continue this nonsense right up to election day.

    October 26, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. Hopenhimer

    What the heck. Now voting is as important as a woman losing her virginity? The DNC seems to be thinking with it's lady parts and nothing else.

    October 26, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    White girl alludes to having intercourse with a black dude = GOP/Teatroll fake poutrage machine with pedal to the metal.

    White man makes jokes about voting and busting a hymen while running for POTUS (Reagan in 1980) = GOPers/Teatrolls canonize him.

    Any questions?

    October 26, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. ST

    It is better million times to hear what this lady says than to hear what Todd Akin, and Murdoch spitted out.

    October 26, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. CB

    Sorry but the election is about jobs and the economy. I don't care who the bimbo sleeps with.

    October 26, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. stan

    What's the big deal? This kind of thing is only offensive if you have honor or morals, hardly areas of concerns to barry supporters. To dems and school children everywhere this is 'intelligent' humor. No wonder Plato himself felt that anyone under 30 was too young to vote.

    October 26, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. Yeah Right

    You know whats funny is that it is conservative MEN who are outraged by this ad. This women is directed at WOMEN and every WOMAN I have spoken too LOVES it. Consider that.

    October 26, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. Yeah Right

    I meant to say: You know whats funny is that it is conservative MEN who are outraged by this ad. This ad is directed at WOMEN and every WOMAN I have spoken too LOVES it. Consider that.

    October 26, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. Hogan's Goat

    Just another cheap shot at anything connected with Obama or non-Mormons. Maybe we should just make them all fall dead from outrage and get rid of their carcasses that way. Look, GOP, a liberated woman! Run for your lives!

    October 26, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. Hogan's Goat

    I love how all the comments hating on this girl seem to be from the same guy using different names. Oh, the faux outrage! It's shockingly dishonest.

    October 26, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. mom4change

    Is there anyone out there that gets the fact that this election is not about women, their birth control, and comparing voting to losing one's virginity. As a woman, I am very annoyed at being treated like the only thing I have to worry about is getting my birth control for free. I want to hear what you're going to do about this economy, the energy crisis, how we're going to pay for healthcare and when in the hell we're going to get out of the middle east. Any woman who can produce children, care for them and a home and work full time could easily be president of the united states and would do a better job than what we've seen the last four years..I don't think there's a man out there that could do a woman's job!!

    October 26, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. Bemused

    Awwwwww, the republicans are 'disgusted', about gutter campaigning... awwwww.
    And the woman only talks about HER ideal candidate.

    Not a word about the other guy, no disgusting words like "communist, Kenyan, America hater, socialist, muslim, mormon, racist, there were no posters of the other guy dressed as monkey, hitler moustache"... and still, those fine tender GOP souls are seriously hurt. I even saw Sununu cry (crocodile) tears, Karl Rove was weeping in his handkerchief, the Koch brothers canceled all campaign funding for this weekend... My heart goes out....

    October 26, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Hogan's Goat

    "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."
    Romney is campaigning on "I will repeal Roe v. Wade if elected." See, this is the kind of silly woman who votes for Romney because she thinks he deserves a second term after killing bin Laden. She liked his 999 plan, too.

    October 26, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    Hey, GOPers/Teatrolls, if you really want to "control" your women, let me give you some advice:

    Orgasms work better than legislation.

    But I suppose that just highlights why the GOPers/Teatrolls have to rely on legislation (not to mention why their whole schtick on these issues is just a giant bout of overcompensation for deep-seeded feelings of inadequacy).

    October 26, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. Markus

    "I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great." President Ronald Reagan on voting

    October 26, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "I love how all the comments hating on this girl seem to be from the same guy using different names. "

    It's easy to fall into that trap beacuse they robotically repeat the same mantras. What's really going on is that the GOP even outsources its astroturf operations to avoid creating American jobs that would help Obama on the economy. It's really just 12 to 15 chinese teenagers in a basement in Biejing all typing furiously from cue cards for $0.50 a day.

    October 26, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. CryBabies

    @ sniffit....go easy on the shrooms. Also,fresh air can do a "shut-in" wonders.

    October 26, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  18. ALittleBird

    Sort of remind of Bob Dole's Pepsi commercial where he started out by talking about a product that made him feel more young and vigorous. People automatically assumed he was talking about Viagra since he had previously done commercials for it, but in reality it was Pepsi.

    October 26, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. Jenny

    If Obama was really paying attention to voters, he'd then know that smart women voters are interested about whats in their wallets and not in their pants. Obama's campaign has sunk to a new low.

    October 26, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. vhalen

    During an election, where the younger generation has a chance to stand up to increasing National Debt that the older generation of politicians has left us, just when we thought we could challenge geezers like Joe Biden and send them to pasture....my generation shows we have the depth of a parking lot puddle in an add like this. How can the older generation trust us with anything when we prositutize our values like this–Guess thats Obama.

    October 26, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  21. Bemused

    OH My Dog,
    the sudden sensitivity of republicans for women? And she was Only describing Her ideal candidate...

    @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."
    It's HER FREEDOM and choice to make this add. And of course now we see all kinds of republican white knights defending the honor of maidens... wuaHHH

    October 26, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. SW

    I am an intelligent, articulate, independent working single parent and mother, and I DON'T LOVE THIS!

    Get it Yeah Right?? You're a senseless, silly, unintelligent girl.

    October 26, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. Planet Kolob

    Any time Republicans say they're sensitive on womens issues, gay rights, or minorities watch out! That's code for "we're about to vote to take away more of those groups rights!"

    October 26, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. Stupid and I love it

    I love this ad too. They look so desperate! Pandering at it's finest. Girls should wait for a guy who cares about them? Specifically one who cares enough about them to make sure they have health insurance (i.e. birth control)? Ummm sweetie, that guy doesn't care about YOU, that guy only cares about HIMSELF...in other words getting some action without paying for it later! How about your first time is with being with someone like, oh I don't know, your husband! Or someone that would encourage you to hold off for awhile because you are WORTH waiting for! That's why we have so many baby-mamas we are supporting in this country! I would also like to point out that if Obamacare is so great what the heck would we still need Planned Parenthood for?! And take notes little girl, that "amazing" feeling you got voting for Barack will be the best feeling he ever gave you. Ask the millions of people that voted for him in 2008. It's all downhill from there sweetheart...

    October 26, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. Independent Voter

    Wow I guess somebody's getting really desperate for votes. I can not see how this helps get votes. It's more of a deterrent. Some of these people that consider themselves "stars" should really put some serious thought into weather they should open their mouths or not. I think more often than not they hurt their candidate.

    October 26, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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