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. Guest

    This is stupid. As is the Obama campaign. They'll go to any length to poison the minds of our nations youth with liberal drivel.

    October 26, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  2. Russ in Md

    Seen it and all I can say is "Wow that was wrong." Talk about anti-women.

    October 26, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  3. quinLee

    Oh this is really going to get the right wing rape is God's work nuts going. Hold on, I hear the fake outrage coming........

    October 26, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  4. theappsguy

    Here's a better ad... Picture a 17 year old girl in a shabby run-down apartment with a fussy baby on her hip. She says, "Four years ago I supported Barack Obama. He promised me hope and change. He said that everything would be wonderful. Yeah... right."

    October 26, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  5. GI Joe

    Pregnancy by rape is God's will - republicans.

    Pregnancy by rape - it's just another form of conception – Paul Ryan

    October 26, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  6. GI Joe

    Republicans talk about women and their bodies like the are a bunch of breeders to be used by men.

    Guess they have to "man the armies" somehow for WW3 – which will last 50 years.

    October 26, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  7. Malory Archer

    I think the ad is clever and never did it cross my mind that it was about s e x. IMO, the rethugs have dirty minds for making that connection.

    October 26, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  8. Russ in Md

    Gurgyl: "Richard Mourdock said Rape is legal and it is supported by Mitt the twit."

    Wow, that a good one. What is your next lie going to be?

    October 26, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  9. abcd

    Who is Obama targeting with this - the shallow, self-absorbed, early-twenties vote?

    October 26, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  10. proudmemberofglobalzero

    Sorry, as a mother of one daughter and two sons...I thought it was cute. My sons cast their first vote in 2008 and my daughter cast hers in the 2010 primaries...they all are likely voters under the age of 25. This ad beats the ads I am seeing in Florida from all of the GOP candidates. Two of my children voted absentee already. They are in college and voted for PBO. My other son is working and going to get his masters but is registered in NY. He will be voting early like his mom. Early vote starts tomorrow in Florida. I will be out the door by 6am with a car full of Obama voters. We hope to be among the first to cast votes for President Obama in Palm Beach County Florida. My husband is a Republican and will vote on election day. He too is pledging his support for President Obama this election.

    October 26, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  11. MikeyB

    When you have children working on a campaign, you get juvenile videos like this.

    October 26, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  12. namethename

    Crazy like Obama

    October 26, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  13. heather

    There are alot of women who regret their first time. So this ad is perfect for voting for that thing.

    October 26, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  14. cashmeremafia

    I can definitely relate – I was thrilled to vote for the first time (I was 19) and have been ever since (51 now), to me it was my transition from childhood to adulthood, doing my civic duty as a citizen. I know it sounds corny, but that's really what I was thinking then

    October 26, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  15. MikeyB

    s3xually obsessed Dems, promote women as s3xual objects and call it women's rights. No wonder they need abortion, where the results of women being used as objects encourages the killing of babies; and the Dems call that women's rights.

    October 26, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  16. David

    From "Hope and Change" to "Creepy and Nasty". Time to find another job Obama.

    October 26, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  17. Bermille

    The Obama campaign is riling up the right on purpose. Good for them.

    October 26, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  18. Amy

    Mr. President, intelligent American women are more concerned about getting a job, not free birth control pills. If you think we're all selfish pigs who only want a welfare check and free pink pills, think again!

    October 26, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  19. momo

    The article did not mention her comment that those who were "just not ready" were "Super Uncool." Yea, that's a good message for our daughters. This video is idiotic, shallow, and misleading (both with the Lilly Ledbetter Act and the availability of contraception). Is this really what it takes to get teens and college students to vote? If so, someone should invent a "booth barrier" method to protect the such votes from being implanted in our presidential election.

    October 26, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  20. Ancient Texan

    Obama's solution to every problem facing America is to slime his opponent and create nasty, totally false, and unethical character assassination ads to hoodwink the undecided voters.

    October 26, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  21. Page

    Please get real. Nothing here. Stop the fake oh mys........

    October 26, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  22. Malory Archer


    You spent how much of the taxpayers money on this?


    None. Campaign ads are paid for by the people who donate to the candidate. Did you REALLY not know that?

    October 26, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  23. Diane

    Would the real Americans please stand up?

    October 26, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  24. maltesefalconx9

    Mr O'Bama is a good choice, but that TV commercial is a meaningless anomaly.

    October 26, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The more we talk about it in this campaign, the more insulting it is to women," Kellyanne Conway, a Republican strategist, said
    The more yout alk about WHAT? The ad? Your Party's insistence on taking away women's right to choose? To defund Planned Parenthood? To decide about contraception for women?
    There is NOTHING that Ifelt insulted by, as a woman, in that ad. I found the drawn parallel quite clever.
    It would also apply to a man. My son voted for the first time in 2008. Prior to going to the polls we had a serious conversation about the importance of his vote, and the choice he was going to make and how it would impact not only his life but the life of others.
    Voting for the first time IS a lot like losing your virginity. It is a momentous occasion with lifetime impacting repercussions.
    Obama 2012.

    October 26, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
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