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Obama Girl a draw at Google-YouTube press party

Google and YouTube try to reinforce their entreÝ into U.S. politics -- that began with political videos and the twin presidential debates -- by hosting a party for the press corps in New Hampshire.

Declan McCullagh/CNET News.com

MANCHESTER, N.H.--Not content to host a pair of YouTube presidential debates with CNN, Google and YouTube are now aggressively schmoozing the political press corps in New Hampshire.

Shmooze Exhibit A was last night's primary-eve election party here that Google held on the third and fourth floors of a converted mill building that now houses this former industrial city's SEE Science Center. Its motto: "Getting kids from toddlers to teens excited about science since 1986."

An electric 'candle' at the Google-YouTube press party in Manchester, N.H. Declan McCullagh/CNET News.com

In theory it was open only to press, but we noticed a few interlopers, including a Facebook Washington representative, the former Republican lieutenant governor of Maryland, and, surrounded by eager conversation partners, Obama Girl in a filmy dress that left little to the imagination and was hardly suitable for New Hampshire in January. (There was, alas, no sign of Giuliani Girl or Ron Paul Girl.)

As an accent to the open bar, our hosts provided glowing Google-logo'd plastic ice cubes for mixed drinks, illuminated swizzle sticks, and electric "candles." A projector beamed the inevitable YouTube political videos onto a nearby screen. Other highlights of the science center location: the quirky exhibits, including one devoted to ice hockey (it is New England) and another of Lego blocks that reproduced the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in its entirety. The Amoskeag buildings once housed the largest cotton textile plant in the world; now, in renovated form, they house Autodesk, Texas Instruments, and the museum itself.