Back in 2008 when President Obama was just a junior senator from Illinois, challenging Hillary Clinton (and a slew of other candidates) for the Democratic spot on the 2008 presidential ticket, there was one video that tipped the balance. And it all started with one girl who had a crush.
OK, maybe we’re overselling it just a bit, but Obama Girl, played by bikini-clad model and actress Amber Lee Ettinger, certainly set the Internet alight with her 2007 YouTube hit Crush on Obama. Five years on, it’s garnered over 25 million views. A testament to the video’s legacy is the bevy of parodies it’s spawned, including a similarly titled ode to then-rival Clinton and, most recently, a declaration of love from Obama Boy to the president, after he publicly announced his support of same-sex marriage.
Now, just in time for the Democratic National Convention, Obama Girl is back, still crushing, and she’s reworked her original tune for the subject of her affection’s second presidential run.”I cannot wait / until you get all eight [years] / you’re still the sexiest candidate,” she sings. Though eagle-eyed fans might have noticed something different: Obama Girl has changed faces.
Ettinger, who previously only lip-synced the title track in the first video, is gone. Musician Leah Kauffman, who provided the vocals for the 2007 track, has taken center stage.
In a separate video, Kauffman explained why she’s still got a crush on Obama. “This song comes from a place of sincerity,” she said. “Obama’s created a lot of great changes over the last four years, and I hope he has the chance to influence the next four.” And while her previous track was a collaboration with Ben Relles, founder of online video and entertainment website Barely Political, this time it’s a solo effort.
The new face also has to do with Ettinger’s uncertain political leanings more than five years after her original starring role. In June she told the Daily Caller she was “not as excited as I was the last time, that’s for sure,” refusing to throw her support behind Obama — or any other candidate. “At this point I’m keeping that to myself,” she said. “If I’m not making videos, I’m not sure it’s anyone’s business who I’m voting for this time around.”
But a publicist for Kauffman’s newest video told Politico, “Amber, who is now pursuing acting, isn’t involved at all. This is something Leah (the original singer/songwriter) has wanted to do completely on her own. She and Amber have remained on good terms.”