When Obama Girl Loved Obama
Amber Lee Ettinger is an American actress and model best known as Obama Girl in her on-line video "I Got a Crush... on Obama" -- referring to 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama -- which has earned her scores of media appearances, from a part in a "Saturday Night Live" sketch with Fred Armisen as "Obama" to an interview on "At Large with Geraldo Rivera" with 'Geraldo Rivera'. A native of Hazelton, Pennsylvania, Ettinger moved to New York City to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology to study fashion and clothing design, having expressed hopes to create her own clothing line and other business ventures. Early in her career, Ettingter was crowned Miss NYC in the 2003 Miss Hawaiian Tropic pageant, later augmenting that title with a nod as Miss Howard TV in June 2007. She has also appeared in a video for the Onion News Network, as well as the music video for the John Popper song "Lapdance". Amber released a new video called Hillary! Stop the attacks! Love, Obama Girl on March 25th, 2008.
Ettinger: Well, Obama Girl happened last May of 2007. Ben Relles, who’s the creator and founder of barelypolitical.com, had seen my website and had seen some previous work I’ve done, and he e-mailed me out of the blue and was like, you know, I have this funny project. If you’re interested, e-mail me back, and, at the time, I was in Barcelona and I was shooting for a swimsuit catalog, and a said, you know, thanks, but I’m not in town to do any kind of projects, and he wrote me back and he’s, like, you know, we didn’t shoot it yet. We’ll wait for you to come back. And I’m, like, all right. So, I met him at a Starbucks and he pitched me the idea. He played me the song, which was written by himself and sung by Leah Kauffman, and I absolutely loved it. I thought it was just so catchy. I thought, this is great. I knew who Obama was. I thought he was a really cool, smart guy. I said I’ll definitely do it. We shot that video in May, like I said, when Obama was polling at 11%. So, when I was doing the video, and after I had gotten done, I was telling people and they were, like, who did you do a video about? There’s a lot of people that didn’t even know, and I definitely think that video drew, like, a lot of attention for him early on, which was so exciting and, for me, just kind of like just blew me out the water. I didn’t expect it. Like, the morning the video came out, my house phone was ringing off the hook. I’m, like, what is going on today? And it was every news station wanting to do an interview. It, like, completely blew my mind.
As onetime "Obama Girl" Amber Lee Ettinger makes headlines by criticizing the President's performance, we look back at an interview from the days when she thought he was "a really cool guy."