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. Yonni

    If Romney is elected brace for tens of Romney’s running for the office years to come: Tagg and his brothers must have a plan to carry on with their family’s political tradition that is why they are campaigning with their father to test the water. They have the money have the motives to keep legacy. This could be one big reason not to vote for Mitt in this election.

    October 26, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  2. paulm5545

    I keep hearing how he pulled the troops out of Iraq, but nothing about how he increased troops in Afghanistan.

    October 26, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  3. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    I didn't think it was possible, but the uhbama has slithered to a new low. I wonder if we will hear any more news regarding the Benghazi cover up?

    October 26, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Hey, once you've had Barack, you'll never go back!

    October 26, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  5. Hal

    GOP father figure Reagan, himself, compared voting to losing your virginity long ago. “I know what it’s like to pull the Republican lever for the first time, because I used to be a Democrat myself, and I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great.”

    October 26, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. Veteran Taxpayer

    Just like obama; pandering to the promiscuous, the perverted, (he appointed Kevin Jennings, a NAMBLA advocate as "Safe Schools Czar", and those atheists who lack a moral compass. He's done. He's now a proven liar who knew about the consulate attack but refused to lift a finger to save four American lives.
    Obama will get the votes of the promiscuous, the perverted, the professionally unemployed and welfare recipients. He wont get the votes of Taxpayers who work for a living.

    October 26, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  7. Riddle

    So...Obama is pimping himself out to young female voters?

    October 26, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  8. What?

    Where are all his ardent defenders on this one? This board seems kinda one sided. This one might be a bit to embarassing to defend? Nah, the dems are pros at looking the other way (i.e. Lybia, etc.)

    October 26, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. Wondering What Happened

    This ad has been approved by the President of the United States. Think of what pride this office has held for all who believe how great this country was and can be. How can one person sink the position so beneath it's dignity? How can one man smear our national pride and all this great country represents? I am a successful, educated woman and I do approve this post.

    October 26, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  10. What?

    @becky..."Take it for what it is. LEt's not get all bent our of shape over this video. There are too many important issues right now".

    Really? Like Binder full of women, or the 47%, or Mitt killing old ladies, or Bayonets? Like that important stuff? Funny how the lefties can dish it out, but can't take it. The hipocracy. Lol.

    October 26, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. Sandy

    What's with the fake outrage? I love the video and I'm 45 years old. Everyone this young lady is talking to is an adult, someone eligible to vote.

    October 26, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  12. jackson

    You know, I never really thought about why Obama's school records are sealed until yesterday at the doctor's office I listened to the waiting room T.V. (MSNBC) and heard the pundits in full spin control – mocking, distracting, misdirecting – all the usual stuff. Why? Now I am wondering – and what do you know? So hard to find anything at the usual media sites. Curiouser and curiouser. Romney needs to release his tax returns and Obama needs to release his school records.

    October 26, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  13. willywomp

    Not that classies of ads but we can only judge and vote our consciences. Let us not condemn though for one ad. If the total of all the ads were put together how would you vote. As far as the numbers game everyone is playing I once heard a college math professor say "figures don't lie, Liars figure." Just remember to vote.

    October 26, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  14. CAM in MA

    REALLY! And he is woooing women?? This is insulting, stupid and if any republican said something along these lines it would be bashed all over the news! I am not aligned with either party but thinking like this really makes me question this president!!

    October 26, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  15. Tony in Maine

    The audience for this ad is not the Sunday school of the local fundie church. Conservatives are desperate and will grab at anything – the problem is there's nothing to get ahold of here.

    October 26, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  16. Senior Citizen

    The Republicans on here who think there is something wrong with this ad need to google Greg Peterson, a huge Romney fund raiser and morman from Utah,as well as raising funds for other high ranking Republicans, who was released, on bond, a few days ago, after being chargedd withf 25 counts of rape, kidnapping and various other charges. He committed suiside on Tuesday. Now his 5 accusers won't have to face him in court and tax payers won't be stuck paying for a trial. Romney has denied being a "friend" yet there are at least 5 different pictures of the two together and two at Mr. Peterson's residence. Such upstand Christian men these Republicans.

    October 26, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  17. geggyg

    Im an Australian and thought this ad was great , it was targeted to college students , not 50yo suburbanites so the language used was appropriate and it was about getting them out to vote preferably for the dems , but at least vote for someone . What was wrong about her mentioning health care , equal pay ( they are not far away from getting their first serious job ) gay rights and gay marriage , these are issues many young people are concerned with.

    October 26, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. geggyg

    Im also surprised that the repubs arent criticising that she has a tattoo, because no good girl has a tattoo, she is obviously one of those bad girls who will lead their good christian sons astray and into a life of sin, debauchery and decadance

    October 26, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  19. clarke

    I can't wait for this election to be over and done.

    October 26, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  20. Doug

    Can Fox News please re-open their comment sections? I'm tired of the drivel that showed up for the last 6 months. The conversation, since their arrival, has turned to baseless accusations and name calling. It is truly pathetic.

    October 26, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  21. Gary

    El J - I agree entirely. Is this really acceptable ? Obama supporters – at least request a removal of this trash – do we really want to sink to this level ? – no matter who we support ?

    October 26, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  22. Gary

    I wonder what Jimmy Carter thinks of this ad ?

    October 26, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  23. Gary

    Yeah ... I bet even Clinton would not agree

    October 26, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  24. Gary

    Is this something that would be acceptable to McGovern ?

    October 26, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  25. Gary

    For god's sakes. This is going to be incorporated into our culture as normal discourse.

    October 26, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
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