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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- Obama's Facebook warning

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

    Of course, CNN buries this deep in the political section. If it were a republican that put this commercial out, it would be front page.

    October 26, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Ce

    How original....check out this one from months ago....http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/10/25/is_obama_taking_ad_ideas_from_vladimir_putin

    October 26, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. WKT1186

    It is an accurate advertisement. If you vote for Obama, you get screwed......

    October 26, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. NOBAMA 2012

    How anyone could vote for Obama is beyond me!

    October 26, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. MNAnonymous!

    How could anyone even think to vote for Mrs. Rolls and Royce is beyond me!

    October 26, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. haystupid

    yah , someone says shuck and jive , or monkeying around, and chris matthews goes off calling everyone a racists , while he said ( i forget this guy was black for a hour) . he will talk about the race thing for ever but he this this is fine im sure.

    October 26, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Hey. You stated eariler that you'll be voting tomorrow. I'm curious. If polled between now and election day, will that put you in the "registered" or "likely" voter category? This is how silly polls have become. Indeed, are you going to vote (a) enthusiastic; (b) very enthusiastic (c) extremely enthusiastic .... ? Apparenty more weight is put on how you vote than who you plan on voting for.

    But, lucky you. I have to wait until November 6th.

    October 26, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Toni

    This just shows how presidential Obama is..... NOT! I am a woman, and I'm ashamed that Obama is my so-called president. With all his name calling, foul language, and now this ad, all I have to say is "Please, go back to middle school where you belong".

    October 26, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. LBLA

    Obama should be ashamed of what he has turned this election into.

    October 26, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. Lee

    Really tired of CNN burying this stuff or not posting news that will not paint Obama in a good light, I hve never seen a news agancy so one sided and biased. Not posting something because they don't want other to see it is as bad as lying about it. I been a dem. for years but am this year voting for Romney. He is not my first choice but I am dissatisfied how the last 4 years have gone. I am also not liking what happened in Libiya and the cover up. I just read on another news source that the CIA had targets lazered and requested air strikes from a Spector Gun Ship. Requests denied!! whyto leave our people hanging!!! You will not read that on CNN!

    October 26, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. obamafan

    all you idiots that think romney is a saint need to research what realey went on at blaine capitol how many good hard worken americans have to lose their jobs do to outsourcing by big wigs who only care for their own intrest he is a joke and will never win a election cause most are smart enuff to see the truth

    October 26, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. Tiredofthelies

    This ad sums it up well...vote for Obama and you get screwed!

    October 26, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. james

    Oh hey CNN! You posted something that doesn't sing the praises of Obama! I'm a little confused, to be honest... what does this mean?

    This "virginity ad" for Obama is completely ridiculously bad.

    October 26, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. PAM

    EWWW! This is what the office of the President is sinking to??? One thing he had going for him was his portrayal a a conscientious responsible parent. Now... how would you explain this to your daughters Mr President???

    October 26, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  15. don in albuquerque

    Romnesia about Mass Gov position
    Took Mass from 34th in job creation to 47th
    Loss of manufacturing jobs twice the national average
    Left the state in huge debt.
    MITTWITT vote YES for a proven LOSER!!

    October 26, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "So, odds on full-frontal nudity from OFA before 11/6?"

    I certainly hope so. I love breasts. In light of their position on PP though, it's quite apparent that the GOP/Teatrolls have something against them.

    /pink bracelet

    October 26, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. Tiredofthelies

    This ad shows a complete disrespect for women!

    October 26, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. jon68

    This ad is incredibly bad and distasteful on so many levels. Obama occupies the office of great men like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and he degrades it with his name calling, foul language, middle school level humor. Lena Dunham is young enough to be Obama's daughter. I wonder if Obama would be proud to show his own daughters this ad. While Romney may not be the best candidate, at least he acts like an adult.

    October 26, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. Brother Man from the 5th Floor

    Can't wait until this election is over because some of you are going to lose your minds when Obama wins? Going to be a lot of weeping and knashing of teeth.

    October 26, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  20. Stealy Dan

    I’m tired of the continued excuses by President Obama. He keeps saying that the economic problems he inherited were much more severe and challenging than he realized. It’s amazing to me that he’s willing to admit that he was so uniformed and unprepared for the job he was running for in 2008. He’s admitted to the American people that he’s been in over his head these last four years with the deficit, debt, and unemployment problems this country needs to address. He needs to be accountable for his record in office, the same as every other President. He needs to go.

    October 26, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  21. nwoslave

    Since this is directed at all women, that they'd want their first time to be with a great guy, all women start off with a default position of being "great." Men need to somehow earn that greatness. That's just great.

    October 26, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. Larry L

    @NOBAMA 2012

    How anyone could vote for Obama is beyond me!
    The modern Republican base is largely under-educated bigots who are foolish enough to believe Mitt Romney – although he gives absolutely no specifics to explain the math for his ridiculous promises. They'll vote for a man fact checkers have shown to be a pathological liar. He was a draft dodger who now talks like a hawk in the primary and a dove in the general. He has flip-flopped on every issue. His economic policies are Bush II – the stuff that started the recession. He wants no environmental protection or banking industry regulations – a lap dog to corporations. Based on these facts – I suspect many things are "beyond you".

    October 26, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. CLB

    I can not believe the president actually approved this ad. I am so offended that the Obama camp think so little of women: that their integrity can be bought with BC pills, not to mention the ad is in very poor taste. If I were the president I'd pull this ad immediately ,fire the dumba** who thought it up and be apologizing to all women for thinking that all women are freaking stupid. This white trash ad changed my view of this man.He has no class. I can't believe we were fooled...but as they say "fool me once..." I will never EVER vote democrat again if this is the best the party has to offer. SIgned...not true blue anymore....just seeing RED!

    October 26, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  24. Al Ford

    Quite amusing:)

    October 26, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. Paul Stanley

    Earth to conservatives...this is not offensive to anyone but you. The republicans have been ignoring women for decades and they know that Roe v. Wade and their reproductive rights hang in the balance in this election.

    October 26, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
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