Obama Girl Reviews the Debate
CHARLESTON, S.C.-- It's 2:10 a.m., and we're sad to report, we'd just left the swank, well-catered, heavily-liquored YouTube/CNN debate after-party without spotting Amber Lee Ettinger, aka "Obama Girl." We tried. Really.
Earlier, however, we spotted her in her three-and-a-half inch heel stilettos -- "They're $10 Prada knockoffs. Aren't they great!" -- as she was asking David Axelrod, Sen.Barack Obama's chief adviser, if he's seen her latest video. The look on Axelrod's face? Priceless.
YouTube, in a nod to its users, flew 10 video bloggers to Charleston to vlog about the event. Among them were James Kotecki, the recent Georgetown college grad who became this year's first YouTube political star. In February, he was vlogging in his dorm room using a $60 webcam advising candidates how to use YouTube. Now he's posted one-on-one interviews with candidates, from Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) to former senator John Edwards. Phil de Vellis, the brain behind the now classic Sen. Hillary Clinton as "Big Sister" viral mashup, was also on hand, walking up and down Mark Clark Hall, the student building at the Citadel that served as the media center.
An hour before the debate, De Vellis, now a consultant for the consulting firm Murphy Putnam Media, told us: "We are at a real crossroads. Right now. At this debate. Anyone can upload a video. That hasn't changed. What's changed now is what videos people pay attention to and what the major news media like CNN feature. This debate could either be really interesting or really boring."
But by far the most buzzed-about YouTube star was Obama Girl, who said the debate was "anything but boring."
Her favorite video of the night?
"I loved it when someone asked if Obama is 'black enough' and if Hillary is 'female enough.' It should not be an issue!"
--Jose Antonio Vargas
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