ABC News’ Devin Dwyer and Amy Bingham report: For at least a few hours this morning at CPAC in Washington, throngs of conference goers were aflutter with word that Sarah Palin was in the building.
“Oh my god! Sarah Palin is here!” one onlooker whispered to her friends. “Is that really her?” asked another, as a woman looking remarkably like Palin and her entourage floated through the lobby and into the exhibit halls.
Dozens of curious fans frantically reached for their cameras and trailed in pursuit. And even those who met and spoke with the woman of interest were convinced she was the real deal.
“I cannot believe I just met Sarah Palin,” one college-age girl screamed into her cell phone to her mother. “Mom, I just met the governor!”
But as some quickly learned, the Palin-Palooza was for naught, because it wasn’t really Palin at all.
“Everywhere I go people say I look like Sarah Palin, so I decided that the American way would be to try and capitalize on that. And that’s what I’m doing,” said Patti Lyons, a married mother of one from Pennsylvania who is an interior designer by day and Palin impersonator by night.
“I work with a Barack Obama and a Bill Clinton and we do a fair and balanced political comedy,” she said of her show, which has toured the U.S. and performed for corporate functions since March.
Lyons’ manager, Dustin Gold, said the show is in talks with A&E networks for a possible reality series on life as an impersonator.
So has the fake Palin met the real Palin?
“I met her on the receiving line after her speech at a Quaker school last year, and I was dressed exactly like her,” said Lyons. “She did a double take and she said to me, ‘you look better than Tina Fey!’”