The video: President Obama's re-election campaign released a slightly risqué TV ad on Thursday from Lena Dunham, the creator and star of the hit HBO series Girls. Almost immediately, Twitter and conservative blogs erupted in outrage. In the get-out-the-vote video (watch below), Dunham, 26, offers an extended double entendre about how voting for the first time is like losing your virginity. "Your first time shouldn't be with just anybody," she says. "You want to do it with a great guy." She then explains why she thinks Obama's policies are good for women and concludes her "edgy, feminist monologue" by talking about her first time... voting, when she cast her ballot in 2008 for Obama.
The reaction: This "cheap, last minute attempt" to win over young voters reeks of desperation, says Breeanne Howe at Red State. Dunham "must somewhat be forgiven for her role; she seems to have a thing for talking about her first time." But what excuse does Obama have for exploiting that? He's "an adult man, with two young daughters, who should know better." As "unabashed fans of ascendant auteur" Dunham, "we watched — and highly enjoyed — her adorable new campaign ad," says L.V. Anderson at Slate. It won't win over many older, more conservative voters (or bloggers) — it was never meant to — but it's solid "proof of the Democrats' savvy in appealing to the portion of the population that some might describe as hipsters." The voting virginity angle is "a clever conceit," says Joshua Keating at Foreign Policy, but hardly a new one. In fact, essentially "the same joke was used in an ad for Vladimir Putin's presidential campaign earlier this year." Watch Dunham's take: