Ronald Reagan Made A ‘First Time’ Voting Joke 32 Years Before Lena Dunham Did

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Some conservative were outraged Thursday, when the Obama campaign posted a Web ad starring Lena Dunham, creator of the TV show “Girls,” in which she speaks about her “first time” voting, using innuendo to compare it to a girl losing her virginity.

“Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy…someone who really cares about and understands women,” Dunham said in the video, discussing such issues as health insurance, birth control, ending the war in Iraq, equal pay for women, gay marriage, and other big issues.

She then recalled her own “first time” voting four years ago: “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.”

But just as every generation thinks it invented sex, a “first time” joke about voting goes way back to another presidential candidate: Ronald Reagan, less than a week before he ushered in the Republican landslide of 1980.

The Washington Post reported on Nov. 1, 1980, on Reagan’s outreach to blue-collar voters:

What Reagan was trying to do in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio was to harvest usually Democratic blue-collar votes — the consistent target of his personal campaigning in the Great Lakes states. Whenever he is near voters who might possibly be Democrats, Reagan likes to remind them that he came from that side of the political tracks.

On Thursday night, at a working class bar in Bayonne, N.J., Reagan said, “I know what it’s like to pull the Republican lever for the first time, because I used to be a Democrat myself, and I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great.”

In response to the Obama campaign video,’s Erick Erickson wrote with outrage: “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.”

Conservative radio host Monica Crowley posted on Twitter:

And John Nolte of said:

Here is the Dunham video:

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