NEW YORK (JTA) – Nearly 4 million people have heard her voice on the Internet video smash “I Got a Crush on Obama,” in which a sultry admirer confesses her love for the presidential candidate.
Another 3.5 million have watched her video “My Box in a Box,” a parody of a Justin Timberlake number from “Saturday Night Live” whose real title is unprintable here.
Now Leah Kauffman, who wrote the lyrics and sang on the Obama Girl and Box videos, has moved in front of the camera – with her Jewish nose playing a prominent role – to battle conservative flamethrower Ann Coulter’s recent assertion that Jews should perfect themselves by becoming Christians.
In “Perfected,” a video released last week on the Web site YouTube, Kauffman responds to Coulter’s recent comments the only way she knows how – with humor.
“Instead of responding with anger,” the Temple University senior tells JTA, “I responded with satire.”
The video, produced by the Web site BarelyPolitical.com, had been viewed more than 280,000 times as of Tuesday morning, only five days after it was first posted. The site paid Kauffmann a sum she won’t disclose, though she insists it’s not “extravagant.” She also won’t say what her next project is, claiming she was sworn to secrecy.
“I can’t tell you, I’m sorry,” she said. “We’re not finished.”
What she can tell us is that she’s Jewish and was offended by Coulter’s comments.
In the video, Kauffman mocks the right-wing firebrand by pretending to want to be just like her: a liberal-baiting purveyor of hate.
“When I was growing up I was very insecure,” Kaufman croons in the video’s opening lines. “Didn’t know where I fit into this world. As I grew older I found my place and finally my nose grew into my face. Then I saw Ann Coulter on the TV screen and she said if you want to be perfect you should be just like me.
“I know I’m just a Jew, but we could be best friends forever,” she continues. “Wanna come over later and watch ‘Seinfeld’ together. You could teach me to hate liberals, The New York Times and what they say. We could crank-call John Edwards and tell him he’s gay. I would do anything to be just like you. FedEx me to heaven like a perfected Jew.”
A Philadelphia native, Kauffman began performing at her synagogue, Beth Sholom. For her brother’s bar mitzvah, she wrote a song that poked fun at the fact that he used to play with Barbie dolls.
But her musical aspirations are not mere jokes. On Friday night she will premiere selections from her yet-to-be-released CD “Modern Monster” at a club in Philadelphia. She’s been working on the tracks for about a year with money made from her political songwriting.
“It’s kind of like a big deal to me,” she says.
Reviews of the CD aren’t available yet, but Kaufmann has received plenty of feedback about the Coulter song. Most of the comments have been positive, she says, but one piece of hate mail sticks out in her mind.
“I guess the best one was this guy on MySpace,” she said. “He sent me a picture of him, like, holding a rifle. He said, ‘Yeah, I’m from Arkansas. You better watch out. You should love Ann Coulter.’ “