Barack Obama Just Might Like This Kind of Cynicism

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For a moment, it seemed like the first reverse-macaca moment of the 2008 campaign season (yes, we know it's only 2007). A very attractive young woman posted a YouTube video of an original song declaring her crush on Barack Obama.
Whoa-Bama-Girl: Amber Lee Ettinger pretends to sing of her love for Barack.
Whoa-Bama-Girl: Amber Lee Ettinger pretends to sing of her love for Barack.
Jiggling in a bikini, rolling seductively on her couch, Obama Girl sings such lines as "I cannot wait/till two thousand and eight/baby, you're the best candidate" and, our favorite, "You're into border security/let's break this border between you and me." Two words for you: campaign gold! The video was so hot and steamy, it immediately jumped from the interwebs to local and cable news (which says a lot about what kind of people decide what's newsworthy). Would it be enough to put Obama in the lead? Was it a new Democratic tactic to counter the GOP's use of bosoms as a campaign strategy? (Sure, call Adages sleazy and crazy, but the bosom theory was floated by Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan.)

But alas, it was too good to be true. What at first appeared to be a YouTube video was produced by an outfit called BarelyPolitical.com, which is either a political-humor site or a political-stripper site (the tagline is "America's New Poll Dancers").

And the layers of artifice didn't end there. It turns out that while those seductive moves and pouty looks belong to "Obama Girl," the voice belongs to one Leah Kauffman. The journalism student and songwriter teamed up with Ben Relles (if you recognize the name, it's because he's an Agency.com staffer -- the agency had nothing to do with this, by the way). And the Obama girl? Model Amber Lee Ettinger did the lip-synching honors.

Adages played phone tag with the BarelyPolitical.com team but never connected. The Obama camp didn't return e-mails or phone calls. Adages thought about trying to track down Michelle Obama to get her reaction, but figured we'd leave well enough alone.

Whiting decides it's not easy being red

At the beginning of last week, ace reporter Alice Z. Cuneo had a great story ready to go. The news was that T-shirt-worthy agency Strawberry Frog was taking a big leap into the new media with the naming of Jason Whiting as the agency's president and managing partner. Whiting, you may remember, was once an Accenture consultant and is now the managing director of digital shop AKQA's D.C. office. He was hired to succeed Steve Hardwick, who left to become president of Grey, New York.

"It's a big quantitative leap and transformational change" in the agency, Strawberry Frog founder Scott Goodson told Cuneo.

Mr. Whiting, 37, was to get an equity interest in the company along with owners Mr. Goodson and Kevin McKeon, executive creative director.

Now why are you reading all about this here and perhaps saying to yourself, "Hey, I didn't see anything anywhere else about Whiting going over to the Frog"? That's because Whiting had a last-minute change of heart. How last minute? He made the decision after the draft press release was mailed out (complete with the typical embargo).

Asked about the decision, Whiting said his wife didn't want to move to the Big Apple. She certainly picked a fine time to tell him!

Perhaps it also had something to do with the rumors of suitors -- think a certain French holding company -- making kissy faces at the Frog in the hopes of landing a prince of an acquisition.

One more Fridge spotting, and it's a trend

Apparently after a long day of sneaking around the woods in supersize camouflage clothing, William "The Refrigerator" Perry likes to cool down with some oversize fans. After our item detailing Fridge's endorsement deals with BigCamo.com, Adages received a tip that Fridge also does spokesman duties for a company called Big Ass Fans, maker of high-volume, low-speed fans. According to a spokeswoman, they send the big guy out to meet and greet and "he always hams it up for the camera." He was last spotted hamming it up for Big Ass Fans in Sikeston, Mo. The spokeswoman added, "We don't make The Fridge more lethal, but we certainly make him cooler."

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Contributing: Alice Z. Cuneo Send your campaign crushes to kwheaton@adage.com
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