Sarah Palin Sighting At CPAC? : It's All Politics Ex-Alaska governor's look-alike creates a frenzy
NPR logo Sarah Palin Sighting At CPAC?

Sarah Palin Sighting At CPAC?

Sarah Palin impersonator at CPAC. Corey Dade/NPR hide caption

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Corey Dade/NPR

Sarah Palin impersonator at CPAC.

Corey Dade/NPR

Alaska's mama grizzly decided to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington after all—or so it many at the gathering here thought Friday morning.

The big hair, red lipstick, designer spectacles and fitted skirt, and that familiar "Alaaaskan" accent, fooled nearly the lot of the fans who flocked to the woman in the lobby of the Marriott Wardman Hotel. Alas, Sarah Palin's appearance at CPAC was not to be, but her look-alike, truly a dead ringer, delivered quite a thrill.

Young adults whipped out camera phones and encircled the performer, Patti Lyons, who could barely make her way across to an awaiting television set.

"I wonder where her husband is," one visibly star-struck young man told a friend. "She said she wasn't coming."

A Fox News reporter grabbed his microphone, pushed through the crowd and asked where the woman was from.

"I'm from Wasilla," she said with much perkiness, perfecting sounding out the Wah-silla inflection. "How about you?"

She continued: "I'm see these beauuu-ti-ful, young taaaalented patriotic Americans."

Earlier this week, Palin declined an invitation to speak at CPAC and drew criticism from some conservatives, including former Sen. Rick Santorum, one of several CPAC guest speakers considering a presidential bid. Palin has said she had a scheduling conflict.

So Lyons seized the opportunity to give the CPAC attendees what they wanted. A representative of the entertainment firm accompanying Lyons said she has performed as the former governor at many venues, including on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."