Passengers in the B Terminal at Washington Reagan National Airport on Tuesday kept slowing at Gate 26 to stare at a passenger who'd just stepped off the plane. "Is that Obama?" more than one person dragging a rolly suitcase wondered aloud.
No, President Obama was not on Virgin America's inaugural flight from San Francisco to Reagan, but doppelganger Reggie Brown was. Brown, an Obama impersonator, was joined by Jim Gossett, a slightly less convincing Mitt Romney, at the airport, and chatted with Yeas & Nays about making a living at being someone else.
"My brother was the first one to tell me I looked like a guy he played basketball with 10 years ago," Brown said. He'd been doing impressions since high school and took his first whack at doing Obama after his 2008 speech at Grant Park.
It took Brown less than two years to perfect his routine, which he has performed all over the world and on numerous late-night talk shows. Brown said he's mastered what he calls the "sincere Obama" and the "Martin Luther King" Obama -- "where he's getting riled up and preachy," Brown explained.
The most important tick to capture: the president's smile. "It's ear to ear," he said. "All the time." Equally important: the hands. "You gotta point," he said.
Brown is frequently mistaken for the president, but he said he's starting to get recognized more for his non-Obama work, like his appearances on the show "Workaholics."
"It's nice to be recognized for me," he said.