Amber Lee Ettinger, the internet sensation otherwise known as "Obama Girl" for her starring role in a 2007 viral video about having a "crush" on the then-presidential candidate, might be ready to dump the president.
After joining up with her BarelyPolitical.com team to create a "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"-themed parody about destroying the campaigns of President Obama's potential 2012 challengers last month, Ettinger now tells Politico that her label as "Obama Girl" could be holding back her career.
"But it can definitely shut a lot of doors, too, because, if I'm striving to be an actress and they see me as this Obama Girl character, they say, 'She's not really an actress, she just did this YouTube thing,'" she said. "And people who may not like Obama, may not like me. I don't know if I would have been able to pursue the acting jobs that I've done the last couple of years without it. Would I have been able to do better stuff without Obama Girl? I'll never know."
It's not just the medium of the video that made her famous that she appears worried about; it's also the message. Ettinger still has good things to say about Obama, but she sounds as if she could be ready to jump ship in 2012, either because she likes another candidate, or perhaps because she believes it would help her career.
"I haven't really decided which way I'm going to go yet," she told Politico about whom she'd vote for in the upcoming election. "I'm still keeping my eyes and ears open. I certainly don't dislike Obama. I think he's done a lot of really great stuff, but he doesn't get enough credit for the things he does. What he does is just never enough. For me, being Obama Girl, it's hard because I get people saying, 'switch to the other side! Make videos for Ron Paul! Why are you with Obama? He sucks!'"
And maybe it's not just the peer pressure that's getting to her.
In 2010, Ettinger provided some more specific criticism in an interview with the New York Post, questioning Obama's decision to tackle health care reform as early as he did.
"It's definitely a distraction because of the economy being as bad as it is," she said. "He did create some jobs, but most of them were government jobs and that doesn't really help the middle class. But it helps a bit."
Below, the YouTube video that put Ettinger in the spotlight: