Barack Obama’s campaign is out with an eyebrow-raising new ad targeting young voters in which Lena Dunham, the creator of the HBO hit series Girls, compares her first voting experience to losing her virginity.
“Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody,” Lena Dunham, 26, says in the ad.
“You want to do it with a great guy.”
Lena Dunham goes on to explain that “your first time” should be with “someone who really cares about and understands women: “A guy who cares whether you get health insurance and specifically whether you get birth control.”
“The consequences are huge,” she continues.
Lena Dunham wraps up the Obama ad by describing her coming-of-age experience at the voting booth.
“It was this line in the sand,” she says.
“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.”
A link to Barack Obama’s campaign website at the bottom of the web ad reads: “Your first time? Get started here.”
Lena Dunham has amassed a cult following among 20-somethings as the creator and starring actress in the HBO hit series, Girls. She has been widely dubbed the “voice of a generation” for her show’s hilarious representation of life as a middle-to-upper-class millennial living in New York City.
The young star is one of many celebrities that the Obama campaign is calling on to try and reach and inspire young people, whose record-breaking turnout on Election Day four years ago was critical to Obama’s victory in 2008. Barack Obama needs similar turnout among young people on Election Day this year to win re-election.
Lena Dunham’s tongue-in-cheek references to losing her virginity are not lost on Republicans, many of whom say they are outraged by the ad and call it “disgusting”.
“Talk about desperation,” a conservative blogger wrote on The Right Scoop.
“They’ve finally sunken to a new low trying to get the youth vote by comparing voting for the first time to having sex for the first time.”
RedState editor-in-chief and CNN contributor Erick Erickson wrote: “If you need any further proof we live in a fallen world destined for hell fire, consider the number of people who have no problem with the President of the United States, via a campaign ad, ridiculing virgins and comparing sex to voting.”
He said the only honest part of the ad is that Barack Obama’s 2008 supporters “have been screwed – economically”.
Fox News analyst and conservative author Monica Crowley called the ad “sick” and “degrading” on Twitter.
“Of the many sick things about this degrading Lena Dunham <<lose your virginity to Barack>> ad? The left thinks it’s <<empowering>> to women,” she wrote.
Conservative blogger John Nolte of Breitbart News added: “How could a president with two young, blossoming daughters release an ad as disgusting as this?”