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. Pete

    Women should be appalled because most of these big topics are centered around you.Abortion,contraceptives,PlannedParenthood turning back the clocks on women over 50 years and Romneys surrogates as well as you ignorent,racist republicans can't deny it!!Colin Powell endorsing the president and your senile old washed up exgovernor Sununu says its because of race,get with the program buddy ,the presidents mother was white,his grandparents white as well and are more American than most of you republicans not only fighting for this country in WWII, but advocating for it as well..Quit your racist rants because its evident just how bigotted your party is in corporations nationwide threatening employees with termination if president Obama is reelected,ask the Koch brothers for example or RiteHite Corporation of Wisconsin saying if Pres.Obama gets in they'll cut retirement,hourly benefits along with massive layoffs,isn't that a type of voter supression,fraud or are you sanctumonious republicans denying that too,its fact just GOOGLE it!!We should expose all these racists and put them out in public as most of you republicans,you should be ashamed of going against a man who's more patriotic than all you republicans combined,if you can't work as Americans republicans I'd suggest you leave this country ,some countries wouldn't mind your racist actions as well as your money would they!!

    October 26, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. Malory Archer


    Early vote starts tomorrow in Florida. I will be out the door by 6am with a car full of Obama voters.


    I voted by mail, but my husband & daughters aren't comfortable doing so. My husband asked me to set the alarm for 5 a.m. tomorrow so he can be in line to vote for President Obama when the polls open at 7. My daughters both have to work tomorrow, but they know they can still make the polls before 7 p.m. to vote for President Obama before heading for Guavaween in Tampa later in the evening.

    October 26, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  3. maltesefalconx9

    Always relate to the women and ignore the men.
    That's the opposite of what they want isn't it?
    You hate that guy don't you? Yeah, that's it.
    After all, they are 55% of the voters nationally. You can't possibly ignore them. Not in politics, a boring subject anyway.

    October 26, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  4. Sandy

    What's wrong with the video? I watched it and you people acting disgusted are LIARS. This is nothing like a "virginity" video. STOP THE LIES!

    October 26, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  5. maltesefalconx9

    Voting is not s e x; it is not even like s e x.
    S e x is an exhilarating and meaningful experience in a woman's life.
    Voting is a one drop in the ocean meaningless exercise in futility.
    Achieving a good education and making a lot of money are much more important than voting.
    As far as purchasing an abortion, you'd be better off traveling to Canada, regardless of legality issues.
    Mr O'Bama is a good choice, but that TV commercial is a meaningless anomaly.

    October 26, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  6. Yonni

    Very artistic and creative add. She seems sincere and honest and trust worthy unlike Mitt

    October 26, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. Amanda

    Obama lost my vote. ROMNEY/RYAN

    October 26, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  8. Malory Archer


    Would the real Americans please stand up?


    I'm standing. Now what?

    October 26, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  9. Lost Child

    You don't LOSE virginity, you throw it away.

    The ad is aimed squarely at the segment of the population where it'll have real empathy AND it is FOR Obama much much more than it is against "the other guy". That will have good strong effect.

    October 26, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  10. amf140

    Chicago politics. Let's hope that this is the "last" time we have to go thru this. Send them back to Illinois – never to return. I know that I've learned my lesson.

    October 26, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  11. Fay

    Of course the Republicans would cry foul. OMG these people act like they didn't lose their virginity until they were married! This is kind of clever actually

    October 26, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  12. Ray

    The funnier thing is – this ad's been done before – just Google "Foreign Policy blog" – select the "FP Passport" link – scroll down a few articles – there is a great side-by-side comparison of this video and one just like it from the Putin campaign.

    October 26, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. ImIrish

    I've got news for you. The first time, for most women, is fairly painful. It is memorable, but not in a good way.

    So, yes, voting for Obama would be that painful and painfully memorable.

    October 26, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  14. dufflerpud

    Sure, race could be a factor.

    Or the fact that Powell has experience with being Secretary of State and understands the politics of the Middle East and watched how seriously Romney bungled handling the information coming from Libya when it first came out.

    Or it could be that Powell watched how many times Romney has changed his mind/stance on various conservative issues such that he has no idea what he'll actually do if/when he becomes President.

    Or it could be that Powell understands the budgetary issues behind the department of defense and recognizes what can be cut and what can't and doesn't appreciate it when Romney second-guesses the existing defense department.

    Or it could be that Republicans play the "race" card just as often liberals do.

    October 26, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Dissapointed American

    I'm just curious if the President sat down and played this ad with Sasha and Malia? It Michelle "approve of this message?" What did Grandmother Robinson think?

    October 26, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. MNAnonymous!

    Nice ad!

    October 26, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  17. Puddin

    Is it just me, or is this not the silliest thing you've heard lately? I doubt if the president had a thing to do with this. I say ignore it.

    October 26, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  18. Russ in Md

    Yonni: "Very artistic and creative add. She seems sincere and honest and trust worthy unlike Mitt"

    She is an actress. She was acting just like Obama does.

    October 26, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  19. Jack from Illinois

    Compared to the GOP "We're China, and we OWN America!" ads, this was pretty amusing.

    October 26, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  20. Scott Stams

    Every day I think I have seen a new low from the Obama campaign and every day I am proved wrong.

    October 26, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. Oliveu

    Why must it be all about what's below my waist instead of what's between my ears?????

    October 26, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  22. l Figler

    I confess, I was mistaken, there IS no level to which Obama will stoop to win this ellection. Join hand lemmings!

    October 26, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  23. DN

    Really, this is nothing. There was a spot a few years ago in Spain where a woman seemed to have an orgasm while casting her vote. The message was simple "To vote is a pleasure" (or "Votar es un placer" in Spanish).

    October 26, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  24. Peggy - TX

    Shocking, sensationalist, scandalous, melodramatic .... I like it!!!!

    Good Job, well done, Obama Team

    October 26, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. Malory Archer

    Dissapointed American

    I'm just curious if the President sat down and played this ad with Sasha and Malia? It Michelle "approve of this message?" What did Grandmother Robinson think?


    President Obama didn't even "approve this message" so save your feigned indignation for the faux noise crowd.

    October 26, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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