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.

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

    Sad, sad, situation when one of our political parties produces an ad like this. Come on – comparing voting to losing your virginity? This sounds like it would fit in Obama's State of the Union Address.

    October 26, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Malory Archer


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


    You're joking, right?

    October 26, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Critical Thinking

    They keep doubling down on cool thinking that is the answer. They are fools, the mature, intelligent voter knows that you can't trust this President any longer. What shine that existed before is gone, and cool wont replace it.

    It's time : BO MUST GO !

    October 26, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. Sniffit

    That's right, GOPers/Teatrolls, take the bait....nom nom nom nom nom......

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with the subject matter implied in that video. NOTHING. Women have secks. It's an appropriate, normal and healthy thing to talk and joke about openly. Your reaction is exactly what we want you to be revealing about your perceptions of women: condescending, paternal, head-in-the-sand, regressive nonsense.

    October 26, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Malory Archer

    Scott Stams

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


    The ad wasn't put out by "the Obama campaign". It was put out by an independent group. Thanks for playing tho'.

    October 26, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. Really??

    Hey Pelosi and Harry, do you approve of this message, too?
    We're quite sure Chris Matthews does.

    October 26, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. Sniffit

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

    Sounded to me like the woman in the video was advising others to view and treat their virginity with more respect than that. More like a gift you give and don't give lightly. Again, there's nothing wrong with that sentiment.

    October 26, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. jcourtn1

    I loved it. I recognized the star and appreciated the double entendre. It may be too sophisticated for most.

    October 26, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. Sniffit

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

    Ask the GOP/Teatrolls. The only reason this ad exists is because the GOP won't stop trying to attenuate women's rights. If they dropped the abortion/contraception issue (recognizing that the SCOTUS has already decided it) and the overt attempts to use religioisity to divide the voting public along lines drawn in women's blood, then they would neutralize the advantage they hand the Dems/liberals with women voters. Instead, they insist on relying on their pet wedge issues. They bring it on themselves.

    October 26, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. rob

    For liberals its all about emotions. They either can't understand real issues and the problems faced by the country or they choose to ignore them. That is what President Obama has left, hoping enough people will vote for him because it makes them feel good.

    Very sad

    October 26, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. Postmaster

    There is just no end to the base, classless garbage.

    October 26, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. Fortinbras

    Actually, it makes sense. If you give your vote to Romney despite knowing that hes been saying absolutely whatever he has to in order to get your vote, you have no self respect.

    October 26, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. Bob

    Hey, the fact that it is getting this much attention is the real issue. This is the debate the Ds want because women are a big key to the election. From a strategic standpoint, this ad is a winner. If I were a woman, I would be scared of every R out there, since they think, like the Taliban, that Rs should be able to tell them what to do.

    October 26, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I went to the polling station, I pulled back the curtain. I voted for Barack Obama," the video concludes."

    Yeah, I can see why Conservatives are upset with the video.

    Beyond that, most of us remember our first presidential vote and considered ourselves quite grown up for having finally voted. Most of us also remember each and every presidential vote we cast thereafter.

    October 26, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  15. Docmartin

    Very nice Libby.

    October 26, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. Reality

    Spending by each President for budgets they actually wrote. passed and

    Reagan 1982-85 increase of 8.7%
    Reagan 1985-89 increase of 4.9%
    GHWBush 1990-93 increase of 5.4%
    Clinton 1994-97 increase of 3.2%
    Clinton 1998-01 increase of 3.9%
    GWBush 2002-05 increase of 7.3%
    GWBush 2006-09 increase of 8.1%
    Obama 2010-13 increase of 1.4%

    October 26, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. Brendan May

    No sense of humor, apparently. The Puritans weren't coming out for Obama, anyway. This is designed to get young people out and it will probably help.

    October 26, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. lyn

    For the narrow minded who disapproved of this add, wake up, we loved it and it's about time that the GOP's wake up.

    October 26, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. Pete

    Just keep giving the ignorent ,racist republicans more rope because they love hanging themselves don't they!!

    October 26, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. Sleepless in Cali

    And this idiot wants US to pay for her birth control or subsequent abortion?

    BTW, I am a conservative and proudly voted for Romney. I'm also not particularly "religious." I also believe in a woman's right to choose. However, women like that "piece" in that disgusting ad treat "procreation" like nothing more than having a beer together (or voting?). And if the result is a human-to-be, never mind taking responsibility for it - just throw it in the garbage disposal. And for me THAT is the REAL issue with abortion. In effect, these kinds of women (and partner) have respect neither for their own bodies, nor that of a new one forming.

    October 26, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. WatrGrrl

    Is there no end to how low and tasteless Ba-rack can conduct his campaign? I am so tired of his lies – he did not keep one promise with the American People from his last campaign. How can anyone believe what this man says? He obviously doesn't care for ANYONE but himself. I am so tired of seeing this corrupt, venal, pathological liar in our White House. Please, people, vote him out and return America to The People.

    October 26, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. squoose

    Maybe they should have had a man comparing it to rape instead. The GOP doesn't seem to have a problem with those kinds of comparisons.

    October 26, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  23. quinLee

    I don't get it. Romney has been against every single issue the Right pines for at least TEN times as he morphs. Think about it: Healthcare reform (he's the godfather), abortion (supported it once), NRA (Romney in 1994 said "I don't line up with the NRA"), more Tax cuts for the wealthy( did a 180 during debates).
    All this including the fact that Romney has "no core and no principles" (R. Guliana-2012), he is bought and paid for by Adelson, Koch, et al. Shear lunacy on the parts of those voting for this guy as if he will somehow make things better.

    October 26, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Pete:
    Great post!

    October 26, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  25. Pat F

    They should have ended the ad with "Once you go Barack, you never go back", just to drive the analogy home, so to speak.

    Pretty creepy. As usual, the Dems assume women begin and end with their genitalia.

    October 26, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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