Who is Obama Girl?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

”Obama Girl” is an actress and model who captured the public eye in 2007, when she starred in a film called "I Got a Crush...on Obama,” referencing a Democratic candidate in the 2008 presidential election. Her real name is Amber Lee Ettinger, but she has gained so much fame and attention as Obama Girl that she self identifies as Obama Girl on her personal website and a number of social networking sites, making it easier for her to connect with her fanbase. Her role in “I Got a Crush...on Obama” has not been without controversy, as some critics, including Obama's children, felt that the video was extremely sexualized and in questionable taste.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

The film was made by Barely Political, a group of filmmakers which focuses on making viral videos with a political slant. When the film was initially posted in June 2007, viewers were first under the impression that it was a spontaneous outpouring of affection for Barack Obama. Later, it was revealed that Obama Girl was actually a paid actress, although she professes to be a fan of Obama as well.

Amber Lee was born on 2 October, 1983, and she grew up in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, moving to New York to study fashion design. She was introduced to Barely Political through an advertisement, and when the resulting film became a success, she went on to film a number of other politically themed videos as Obama Girl, including a film in which she faces off against the “Giuliani Girls,” representing a Republican rival.

While the lyrics of the Obama Girl video are not explicit, the video content is quite racy, with Obama Girl posing quite suggestively. Amber Lee has modeled for a range of adult publications including FHM and Maxim, and clearly her looks were a factor in her casting, although she is also politically active, working with Barely Political and other political advocacy organizations to get out the youth vote. Amber Lee has a number of imitators, and she was even parodied in another short video, "Hot for Hill," focusing on Obama's archrival for the Democratic nomination.

One outspoken critic of the video was Barack Obama himself, who apparently did not appreciate the attention. In an interview, he stated that his children were offended by the video, and he expressed discomfort with it as well. Both Obama and Barely Political have stressed that the film is not associated with or officially endorsed by his campaign.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


What do you think that the Obama Girl is up to these days? Probably not a lot. They say that everyone get 15 minutes of fame. I think that Obama Girl got about 3 minutes.


I wonder how Michelle Obama feels about Obama Girl? I am sure that she is not jealous, but maybe she is disappointed. As a strong woman who has made a success of herself through hard work, intelligence and tenacity I cannot imagine her endorsing the kind of quick grab at fame that Obama Girl seems to represent.


I am glad that Obama took the stance on Obama girl that he did. Sure it was kind of a fun and mostly innocent video. But as the Preident of The United Sates and a person that has to be our moral and political guide, I am glad that he did not come out in favor of girls showing off their bodies as a way to get attention. It is so ubiquitous in our culture that we have almost become numb to how offensive and depressing it is.

Also, the last thing we need to do is dumb down the political process any further. I am glad that for now it is at least a little more mature than a beer commercial.


It seems like supporters of Barack Obama could have taken his feelings and those of his family into account. It seems awfully disrespectful to sexualize a presidential candidate so much.

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