I’m Barack Obama and I approved the worst political ad ever.
You’re Barack Obama. It’s less than two weeks before the election, and your competition Mitt Romney is overtaking you. As with your first election, you depend heavily on new young voters, because grownups know you’re a bull****ter (as you projected onto Romney in your Rolling Stone interview), so you need to send out a compelling message that wins them over in this final stretch of the race. What do you do? Why naturally, you approve a stunningly ridiculous political message featuring a vapid young woman comparing voting for you to having sex with you.
If you haven’t heard of Lena Dunham before, it’s because you’re not obsessed with the degrading hookup culture among today’s young people as depicted in HBO’s series Girls, a sort of poor woman’s Sex and the City. Dunham, 26, is the creator, writer, and star of the show, which has made her such an icon of her lost generation that her upcoming memoir of sexual experiences just netted a $3.7 million advance from Random House.
The Obama campaign released a one-minute video last week featuring Dunham encouraging first-time voters to take the plunge, speaking intimately to the camera as if giving advice to a teenager or fellow twenty-something female about losing her virginity. You read that right. You have to see this video to believe it – and even then, you might not. As Kevin Eder at Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center put it, “I’ve now watched it four times. I refuse to believe that it’s a real, actual thing.”
It is a real, actual thing. It is the Obama campaign hitting a new, simultaneously desperate and contemptuous (and contemptible) low.
“Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody,” the tattooed Dunham begins creepily, her head so close to the camera that you find yourself leaning back in your chair as you watch. “You want to do it with a great guy. It should be with a guy with beautiful … somebody who really cares about and understands women.” Obama really cares about and understands women, and Romney doesn’t? Says who? Oh wait, I forgot that Republicans are waging a War on Women.
The video is full of “Huh?” moments like that, such as “You want to do it with a guy who brought the troops out of Iraq.” Huh? The troops left Iraq on a timeline established by George W. Bush. Obama is not responsible for “bringing the troops out of Iraq” any more than he is for killing Osama bin Laden.
Dunham rambles on: You should do it with “a guy who cares about whether you get health insurance, and specifically whether you get birth control. The consequences are huge.” Huh? The consequences of not having your birth control paid for by the taxpayers are “huge”? Seriously? This is what Obama’s young supporters are concerned about? Under him, our economy is plunging off a cliff. Unemployment and energy prices have skyrocketed. Businesses are leaving the country. Our foreign policy is in a shambles. The country is more divided racially than at any time since the ‘60s. So many Muslim Brotherhood members are passing in and out of the White House, it’s like Grand Central Station. And this woman is horrified that a Romney win will mean she has to pay for her own birth control?
Dunham moves on to address what she apparently believes is another issue of critical importance: gay marriage. Don’t vote, she says, for a guy “who thinks that gay people should never have beautiful, complicated weddings of the kind we see on Bravo or TLC all the time.” The silliness of that comment aside, is she oblivious to the fact that the cynical Obama was opposed to gay marriage until his reelection campaign began and he decided it was politically convenient to claim that he had “evolved”?
Dunham’s not done yet: “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!’” This is just beyond embarrassing.
“Also,” Dunham continues, in case you didn’t have the stomach to keep watching, “it’s super uncool to be out and about and someone says, ‘Did you vote,’ and ‘No, I didn’t vote, I wasn’t ready.’” So she’s using peer pressure to get her generation to vote for Obama by telling them it’s uncool not to – like being a virgin. “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.” That’s doubtful, considering her juvenile presentation.
Parodies of the ad sprang up online almost immediately, most notably Steven Crowder’s disturbingly good one here, although the Dunham ad is already a parody of itself. Remember, this isn’t the usual pro-Obama celebrity video like one from the perpetually unfunny Sarah Silverman or something slapped together for the comedy website “Funny or Die”; this is a political advertisement authorized by the Obama campaign itself. This is how Obama believes he can and should appeal to young Americans.
National Review Online’s Jim Geraghty compiled some flabbergasted responses of conservative bloggers. Biased Girl wonders, “Is that what this administration thinks Real women are like?” Stacy Washington tweeted, “The #MyFirstTime ad is the height of vulgarity. Tell me #Democrat Moms: Is this how you want the president talking to your daughters?” Moe Lane wrote, “I know I’m supposed to be shocked… but instead I’m embarrassed.” NY Dem49 has a word of advice for Obama: “Don’t create an ad you wouldn’t be comfortable with your daughter reciting.” Ace from Ace of Spades nails it:
It’s hideous. It’s not funny, it’s not cute, and it’s not persuasive, unless you think the important issues in this campaign are Binders Full of Birth Control… It continues to be weird that Democrats want so bad to have sex with their cult leader.
What this silly travesty of a political ad says is, Obama doesn’t respect young American women at all. He thinks, or hopes, that they’re too ignorant and self-absorbed to understand what the real issues are and to care about them, and that they can be lured to the voting booth with this sleazy trivialization of the voting process and of the state of our union.
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