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Obama Girl: 'Already on My Way to the Inauguration'
[Interview] Amber Lee Ettinger weighs in on her contribution to the US presidential election
Amin George Forji (amingeorge)     Print Article 
Published 2009-01-16 10:25 (KST)   
Amber Lee Ettinger
According to popular opinion, the 2008 US presidential election was the most lively and exciting in US history. In particular, the candidacy of Barack Obama got so many people who traditionally are cynical about politics to be fired up, and believe in the process again.

Before long, the rest of the world was also caught up with the Obama frenzy, and responded accordingly. This became evident when Obama officially won the elections, following unprecedented celebrations around the world.

Before most people could get to know Obama, one person had done already discover him: Obama Girl (Amber Lee Ettinger). She became a media sensation around the world, with her viral video: "I Got a Crush on Obama," which in 2007, was the most watched clip on YouTube. [It has been viewed over 12 million times, as of this writing.] Ever since, she has not only won many fans but also become a media darling, with huge interests on her videos and activities.

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When I interviewed her last year, in the middle of the primary elections, she was optimistic about Obama's prospects, and they did materialize with his election as the 44th president of the United States. I invited Obama Girl for another interview, especially to have her take in the aftermath of the elections. She not only shared her overwhelming joy, but added that she is already set to attend the inauguration on Jan. 20 in Washington D.C. Before the inauguration, however, she contends that she is bent on keeping her fans funky with brand new videos.

I initiated the interview in November 2008, and after back and forth correspondences, with the facilitation of BarelyPolitical.com, Obama Girl answered all my questions on Jan. 14.

OhmyNews: How did you like the last interview with OhmyNews? Have you visited our site ever since?

Of course! I was thrilled at the opportunity in Fall 2007 to introduce myself as Obama Girl to your readers. At the time, "I Got a Crush on Obama" was new to the Web and it was an exciting time to join the political discussion. Looking forward to seeing how you all cover his presidency.

You were undoubtedly one of the spotlights of the 2008 presidential elections, and some people only got to know Obama through your famous song "I Got a Crush on Obama." Looking back now that he has finally won the elections, what can you say?

That first Obama Girl video led to many other video hits on the Web for Obama Girl and BarelyPolitical.com. Then I got to go on TV shows like Saturday Night Live and Good Morning America, and be in magazines like People and Newsweek. This has been such an incredible year in politics, and I am glad to have been a part of it. I still can't believe Barack Obama has been elected the next president!

How many votes do you think you helped Obama to get. Were they enough to impact the outcome of the elections?

Some people have credited Obama Girl for helping Barack Obama win the presidential election. I wouldn't say I was the deciding factor, but people do tell me that a lot! I'm flattered with the credit and am proud to have been involved in this momentous election.

Where were you when Obama was declared the 44th President of America? What was your first reaction? Did any friends call you? What were their opinions?

On election night I hosted a party in New York City with my friends to watch the results come in. When I heard he won, I couldn't help but burst into tears! My friends were all there and we were so excited for the change for the new President-elect Barack Obama.

It is 2009. Should we expect another big surprise from Obama Girl that would get everyone clicking on YouTube as was the case in 2008?

Obama Girl will definitely still be around after the inauguration, so I think it is safe to say that you will be hearing from me. Stay tuned!

What will you say about other spoofs and parodies in the course of the 2008 presidential campaign. Did they in any way impact your own satires?

I think that the Tina Fey and the other political impersonators were fantastic this year. It was great to see political satire move beyond old media to new forms of entertainment, like the online videos we do with Barely Political.

Do you plan to attend the inauguration on the 20th of January?

Yes. We'll be in Washington D.C. actually Sunday through Wednesday.

Are you going to release any songs before the inauguration?

Yes! We have a new song coming out a few days before the inauguration.

Has your role as Obama Girl come to an end, or does it continue all the way during the Obama presidency?

Oh sure, looking forward to new videos in the works for Obama Girl and BarelyPolitical.com.

If you were to make three wishes to President-elect Obama, what would these be?

I wish for President-elect Obama to have an easy transition to the white house. I hope that the move from Chicago to D.C. is easy for him and his family so that he can get down to business and run the country. And would be nice if he sent me an email!

And if you were to say three things to McCain and Palin, what would these be?

First of all, I would thank them both for giving the people at BarelyPolitical.com so much funny material to work with during the election. Thank you, Sarah Palin, for your accent and unique hairstyle. And to John McCain, I would say better luck next time.

Any further comments?

I just want to say thanks to you and all the fans for supporting Obama Girl this year. I have been very privileged to be a part of this exciting time in the history of the United States, and owe that to every loyal viewer who has watched the videos.

©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Amin George Forji

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