Obama lookalike in demand for inauguration season

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CHANTILLY, Va. — The lanky man has the security detail, the prominent ears and the U.S. flag pin, but substitute teacher Larry Graves is no Barack Obama. He’s a professional lookalike for the president.

They have something else in common, too: a frantic schedule leading up to the inauguration.

“It’s definitely a busy time,” Graves said. “Between the campaign season and the inauguration, it’s been prime time. Barack Obama is a respectable guy. People want to have him at their parties.”

Recent weeks have seen a flurry of events for Graves, from corporate gatherings to special appearances and photo-ops.

Graves’ preparation goes beyond a physical resemblance and a nice suit decorated with the flag pin. He adds makeup, darkens his eyebrows and lips, adds a prosthetic mole to the side of his nose and even dusts a little white paint into his hair.

“I find people want to believe, and so they go along with it.”

Graves stresses he’s not an Obama impersonator but strictly a lookalike, though he tries his best to mimic the president’s manner and speech.Graves says he hasn’t met the real Obama, but would like to challenge him to some one-on-one basketball.

“I think I could take him,” Graves said. “He better practice.”

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