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Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008 10:27 am

SARAH SIGHTING

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SARAH SIGHTING

We attended a presidential campaign debate sponsored by Young Americans for Political Awareness (YAPA) at Springfield College in Illinois/Benedictine University this week. John McCain's views were presented by 19-year-old Ryan Melchin; Barack Obama's positions were represented by 26-year-old Mike Ziri. Both were more courteous and less repetitive than the candidates they represent. But what really caught our attention was the presence of McCain's running mate Sarah Palin, who was sitting in the audience listening intently to the kids explain the differences between sharing the wealth and socialism.

Why didn't she speak up? Well, because she is actually Amy Lakin, an SCI/B English professor, who just happens to be not only a dead ringer for Palin but also a staunch supporter of Barack. After the program, she allowed us to photograph her with the sign that she stood in line for "for hours!" at Obama's recent Springfield appearance.

You'll notice she's also wearing a distinctly Palin-esque blazer —- purchased not at Neiman-Marcus but at a garage sale. And no, she's not going as Palin to any Halloween parties. Not quite. "I'm going as Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin," she says. "And I'm carrying a broom."

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