Voting is sexy and voting for the first time is — well, like losing your virginity. Or something. At least according to a new Barack Obama campaign ad.
Lena Dunham, the 26 year old creator of the HBO series “Girls,” makes a sexualized play for the youth vote in the Web video, released Thursday.
In a spliced-together video of Dunham looking directly into the camera and appealing to young voters, she analogizes first-time voting to first-time sex and obliquely makes the case for choosing Obama to be the one.
“Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody,” she says. “You want to do it with a great guy. It should be with a guy with beautiful — someone who really cares about and understands women. 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 a guy who say, ‘Oh, hey, I’m at the library studying’ when really he’s out NOT signing the Lilly Ledbetter Act; or who thinks that gay people should never have beautiful, complicated weddings like the kind we see on Bravo and TLC all the time.”
“It’s a fun game to say ‘who are you voting for?’ And they say, ‘I don’t want to tell you,’ and you say, ‘No, who are you voting for?’ and they go, ‘Guess!’
“Think about how you want to spend those four years. In college-age time that is 150 years. It’s also super uncool to be out and about and say, ‘Did you vote?’ ‘No, I wasn’t ready.’”
Continuing her stream-of-consciousness narration, Dunham reveals that her first time — voting — was with Barack Obama.
“My first time voting was amazing,” she says. “It was this 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,” Dunham says, concluding with an innocent smile.
Ironically, Dunham became eligible to vote well before Obama first sought the presidency in 2008. Born on May 13, 1986, she was eligible to vote in the 2004 presidential election when Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry was the Democratic challenger to incumbent President George W. Bush.
So much for “losing it” to a dreamboat.
In 2008 Obama won the so-called youth vote (18-29 year olds) by a 66-32 margin over Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain. While Obama still maintains an advantage among young voters this year, there is noticeably less enthusiasm; and Democratic partisans are substantially more concerned that the unreliable youth vote will stay home.
Whether a sexualized interpretation of Election Day is an effective “get out the vote” strategy remains to be seen.