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

    And liberals want us to believe that they are not out of touch with reality? It has become increasingly obvious that they are not.

    October 26, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. independent

    Appeals to the younger crowd and offends everyone else.

    October 26, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. Diane


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

    The reason the Cool one has the lowest percentage is he can't balance a budget must less write one!

    October 26, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. downinaggieland98

    " 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 |

    This made me laugh... especially the IGNORANT part. 🙂

    October 26, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. RobK

    You can tell what is important to Hollywood – sex. They are desperate for Obama to win, because he sympathizes with their views on adultery, homosexuality, teenage sexual relations, contraception, etc.

    October 26, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. RobK

    You should lose your virginity with your spouse. Unfortunately, any Democrat who believed that is long gone.

    October 26, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. stan

    We have the President of the United States of America campaigning with coy jokes about taking your daughters virginity.

    America is broken.

    October 26, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. Tim

    Be like "the first time"... Well from what I understand: It will hurt, there will be a lot of crying, and then feeling empty and remorseful... and wishing you listened to all the advice and wait for the >right< guy.

    October 26, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. Cami100k

    Who would want to vote (lose their virginity to...) for someone who has already screwed the entire United States population?

    October 26, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. Phiil

    I just don't get it

    The GOP can talk about pregnacy from RAPE is God's Will
    The GOP can talk about LEGITIMATE RAME and wonder if a Woman's body can just shut down a pregnancy
    The GOP can talk about probes before a woman can have her right to choose
    The GOP can talk about contraceptives being outlawed

    But woe to the Democratic Party who compares 1st time voting with 1st time sex?

    Like I said, I just don't get the outrage.

    October 26, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. cf

    Aren;t we getting a little too sensitive? It was a character from a show appearing in a campaign ad as that character/ It was an attempt at humor and to appeal to the demographic that watches this kind of show. Nothing more, nothing less.

    October 26, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Gimmeabreak!

    Don't worry, sweetheart - NOBODY wants to take away YOUR virginity!

    October 26, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Phiil

    Hey GOP supporters

    I feel sorry for you that somewhere along the way you have lost your sense of humor.

    October 26, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. Expat American

    I wonder if the local community college offers night classes for Conservatives where they can learn how to best feign outrage over women’s issues (throwing up their hands and wailing); while hiding their own extremist misogynistic 1920s doctrine which is based on their home-grown American fabricated bastardization of Christianity.

    October 26, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. Ed1

    What a great role model.

    October 26, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. Paula

    WOW. What a DISGRACE. He's got 2 young daughters, and he's ok with that?? Sad state of affairs.

    October 26, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Really??

    @ Sniffit.... who wrote

    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.

    Yes, women do have "secks" and I thought you progressives always portrayed that as a private matter...you know...it's not the governments business what goes on in someone's bedroom. Actually, our perception of women is more considerate and dignified than liberals. We don't use the issue for political gain.

    October 26, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |

    October 26, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. tykl

    Classless x 2. First the BS quote and now this. O must be really proud to have his daughters watch this and bragging he wants all college girls to lose their virginity to him. He is better suited to be VP of France – I'm sure they would appreciate it.

    October 26, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. debbyK

    Just one more reason I DO NOT subscribe to HBO! "Not signing Lilly Ledbetter Act"....wasn't equal pay already on the books???

    October 26, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. A

    I chose to wait for marriage for my first time. Completely worth the wait. And I find this insulting to all women who value their principles. Girls, don't settle for cheap, or for a man who promises free pills forever. You deserve better!

    October 26, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  21. Woman In California

    Remember when some republican jerk compared-people who voted for Obama in 2008, to Esau giving up his birthright to Jacob? What a disgusting statement, yet no outrage about that. Not a single word of apology.

    When these "same people" get through with their faux outrage about this video, it still won't change what's she's saying is the truth. This election is too important to get it wrong and we simply cannot trust a man with no principles or understanding of the world. Great video and great message.

    Obama 2012

    October 26, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  22. Anonymous

    omg....folks, get a LIFE! this puritan crap isn't worth your time OR MINE

    October 26, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  23. Lloy Kalispell, MT

    The brilliant team that created this ad know what they are doing. The best ads cut through the clutter and generate discussion for and against. Let's talk about which party and candidate really care about women and which panders to the extreme right wing, evangelical, tea party element.

    October 26, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  24. Gross

    Sorry – this ad is just creepy.... for a President to sink this low is pretty base. I have never considered myself a prude, but as a mom, I would not want my daughter lowering herself to make a video like this for some political hack.

    October 26, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  25. El J

    You hear a knock at your door: "Hello, I'm Barak Obama. I'm here to solicit your daughter's "voting virginity". May I come in?" -–We would never (should never) stand for such a creature knocking on our door, asking for our daughters. In fact, we would most likely slam the door, lock it and call the police! Why then are people excusing this ad?! No man, especially the president should be able to speak in such a filthy way, whether directly or indirectly to our daughters! And FATHERS everywhere should be letting the president KNOW IT! Where have all the MEN gone in this country? Where are our protectors?! Have we really sunk so low as to think this advertisement is acceptable? This language would, in the work place, warrant, at the very least, a write up and discipline owing to sexual harassment. Why then is it okay for the president to slither his way in front of our daughters and speak to them this way?!

    October 26, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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