Is the Obama campaign taking commercial ideas from Vladimir Putin?

I see the Obama campaign has a new YouTube ad featuring Girls star (and fellow Oberlin alum!) Lena Dunham:

"Your first time shouldn't be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy," she says, referring to casting your first ballot for Obama. (What were you thinking?)

It's a clever conceit, but feels a bit familiar. Perhaps because the same joke was used in an ad for Vladimir Putin's presidential campaign earlier this year:

A suggestive ad rallying support for Putin's presidential campaign shows a young woman seeking a fortune-teller's advice. "Let's find out, cutie, who is intended to you by destiny," the mystic says. The girl replies, "You know. I wish it to be for love -- It is my first time."

Here's that one:

Another ad from the same campaign featured a doctor telling a young woman, "The main thing is to be sure it's safe. Especially the first time."

Let's just hope the campaign doesn't delve further into the Putin catalog.

Update: Looks like Reagan may have beaten Putin to this joke by a few years. 

Also, whether you like the Dunham commercial or not, describing it as "further proof we live in a fallen world destined for hell fire" is um... going a bit far.  


World's longest flight cancelled

If you were hoping to catch up on your Tolstoy -- or maybe two seasons of your favorite HBO series-- with an 18-hour plane flight, you're out of luck, reports the Christian Science Monitor reports

Singapore Airlines announced Wednesday that it will end its nonstop flight between Singapore and Newark, a distance of about 9,500 miles (15,300 kilometers). A slightly shorter route between Singapore and Los Angeles will also end. The two routes were flown on gas-guzzling Airbus A340-500s.

The airline found the only way to make the routes profitable was by configuring the plane with 98 business class seats that sell for about $8,000 roundtrip. Other airlines operate the same plane with about 250 seats in first, business and economy classes.

Qantas' Dallas to Sydney is now the longest flight distance-wise at 8,500 miles with Delta's Atlanta-Johannesburg service taking the time title at 17 hours. 

Of course, even a domestic flight can turn into 19-hour ordeal under the right circumstances.