Palin vs. "Palin": When SNL Parody Becomes Campaign Reality

Tina Fey has seized the Veep hopeful's public image. Can her target find a way to get the last laugh?

Illustration by Francisco Caceres for TIME

It's hard to tell where Tina Fey ends and Sarah Palin begins. Even before Fey lampooned Palin on Saturday Night Live--the updo, the wink, the syntax--people noted the resemblance. And for a politician new to the national stage, being likened to the intelligent, witty, popular Fey was not exactly a bad thing.

Until now, anyway. The governor's comedian doppelgänger has essentially taken control of Public Sarah Palin: the composite of images, biography and attitudes that stands in for the actual person in voters' minds. Every politician creates a public self--with the assistance, wanted or not, of the media--and a good one...

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