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. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Lynda/Minnesota:
    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.
    Indeed we do.
    The analogy continues.
    Well put Lynda!

    Thanks. I'm waiting for the CNN link to Neil Diamonds oldie "Girl, You Are A Women Now" to complete the faux outrage stampede over this video.

    October 26, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. Dwight

    And voting for Romney would be like meeting a guy, talking with him and forming a meaningful relationship before doing it.

    October 26, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. frank

    why can't obama say anything about women that doesn't involve sex. romney takes heat because he had binders full of women's resumes, but at least he sees them as something other than a reproductive organ.

    October 26, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. sortakinda

    Funny, this ad leads me to think of barnyard analogies.

    October 26, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. tate

    Why does the president think woman are so stupid? Very sad

    October 26, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. Mitt RobMe

    Really, They're upset over that!

    October 26, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. Pete

    So the Dems want us to believe that all it takes to become a "woman" is to loose your voting virginity to a man who promises you all kinds of free stuff, but doesn't actually have to deliver on any of it.

    October 26, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Dominican mama:

    Oops. Got the lyrics to Neil Diamond wrong. (Senior moment.) Should have been: Girl, You'll Be a Women Soon.

    October 26, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. Jeff from Columbus

    Really? So, now Obama is using sex to win votes?

    I keep thinking he can't get any lower – and he keeps getting a bigger shovel.

    October 26, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Wiff Mittington

    Yes! This is absolutely on par with Romney still endorsing "rape pregnancies is God's will" Murdock.

    October 26, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. DR

    Wait! The GOP had not considered first time voting for women. Can they legislate that, maybe give them a probe, then take away their right to private matters! Just wait folks, electing a Mormon is going to set women back fifty years. I know because I am one! Mitt is a country club bully that hasn't had to go without anything in his life. Raised in a privileged community. His attitude toward the 47% will spill over to the middle east, where holding down people and shaving their heads like he did in prep schools, will have the privilege of the nuclear football.

    October 26, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Lynn

    Question: does this ad say 'i approve of this message' at the end of it? why are you saying it is from the President?

    October 26, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. Dwight

    So it is sex that makes you a woman, which explains why there are so many "women" having sex, getting pregnant, living at home because they have no income, no husband and expecting thier parents to become babysitters.

    October 26, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. syl P

    Outrageous! ! women fought to earn respect, equal pay, and rights based on intelligence and character. Now, Obama's campaign wants to turn the clock back an exploit women on the basis of sexual activity? Very disappointing. I will definitely WILL NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA AGAIN. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

    October 26, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. Joan

    I think it is kinda funny. I felt "all grown up" the day I voted for the first time. Have you watched sit-coms lately? The kids see so much more on TV and video games than this. And there are so many jokes that are like this commercial, then the punch line is "What were you thinking", the joke is about something totally not sexual. It catches your attention. So OBABMA 2012 – Mitt is saying he can take care of things ing 8 – 10 years, to the GOPers, give him 4 , just like you are saying that Obama should have cleaned up the Rep. Bush's disaster he left Obama. Good luck. So IF, that is a big IF, Mitt were to win, 1 term president, he cannot do any better than our current president. Only he will probably get us into another war, there goes the money.

    October 26, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Travis

    A lot of people feel shame and regret after loosing their virginity too. Definitely not the best analogy to use.

    October 26, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Carla

    Oh come on - this is ridiculous. I have been an advertising copywriter since 1978. There is NOTHING wrong with this analogy which may appeal to those with a sense of humor or the 20-something demographic. If you want to talk about DAMAGING content - look to the anti-female rhetoric that flows in rivers from the republican party - from "legitimate rape' to women who got pregnant courtesy of god's will by rape. FAR more harmful than a little innuendo in this commercial. And all those conservatives who are "collectively gasping" - may you choke on your forked tongues.

    October 26, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. Victoria

    I don't see the big deal. How old are these people who are so baffled by this? I guess the over 50 crowd. Which i guess is mainly the crowd that supports Mitt. Go Obama!

    October 26, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Lynda/Minnesota:
    I knew which song you meant! LOL!
    I don't know which one is working my last nerve more my hot flashes or the completely fake and hypocritical outrage from these right wing nutjobs.
    Tired of polls, tired of the back and forth, tired of trying to make folks see sense. By the looks of your recent posts so are you my friend.
    People have made up their minds for the most part. I'll be casting my ballot in person tomorrow.
    May God bless and keep us.
    Obama 2012.

    October 26, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    This is proof that the POTUS is not Christian. He know he is going to die in a few weeks and he is rounding up his 72
    Can you get what you're on without a prescription? lol!

    October 26, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. uncdig

    just another distinguished ad and remark from the current president of the United States. What a class act! This just proves that he lied in his first campaign where he said he put the country first & not just do anything to get reelected. Liberal trash

    October 26, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. stan

    You know, we more or less expect this type of base activity from a useless creature like barry. What is truly frightening are the obama supporters that see something like this and can look you right in the eyes and say 'there's nothing wrong with it' and absolutely 100% believe what they said. It's like the ability to see right from wrong is completely removed from their person. The obama campaign take the lowest road possible and his supporters eat it right up.

    October 26, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. "Chuck

    I wonder if the President had his daughters review this for their input and approval before they put it out?

    October 26, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. sharon cross

    so a woman's play on words , which btw promotes finding a person who is loving and treats a woman with love and respect as a first partner , has outrages Republicans but someone who " says a rape victim getting pregnant is God's plan " is still endorsed by Romney . Twisted !

    October 26, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. AvgJoe

    This year's elections mean that a first time voting means you're gonna get screwed no matter who you vote for.

    October 26, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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