Reversal of fortune markets in everything

Cote, a 56-year-old drywall finisher from Ogunquit, Maine, has found that with a little dye on his eyebrows and in his hair, he looks a lot like the Republican presidential candidate.

Cote starred as Romney in the “Rombo” ad paid for by the Rick Santorum campaign, and played him in a yet-to-be-aired reality TV show in which presidential impersonators live in a house together. (Fake Sarah Palin created drama by mistaking sleeping pills for allergy medication.)

Now, with the general election campaign just ahead, Cote is hoping to land gigs at corporate events, commercial shoots and TV shows that have meant big paydays for a lucky few candidate impersonators. He said he had already booked some “top secret” photo shoots that will have him on magazine covers and California billboards this summer.

It’s a strange place to be for Cote, who didn’t go to college, doesn’t have a savings account and is divorced — all traits that distinguish him from the erudite, wealthy and long-married 65-year-old Romney.

And yet there is competition:

Cote’s voice is higher than Romney’s, and he has a heavy New England accent. Then there’s the competition: With the race heating up, more wannabe Romneys are popping up, many with professional training in acting.

“This is going to be a challenge,” said Dustin Gold, Cote’s manager. “We’re taking a drywaller, trying to turn him into a country club guy.”

I wonder if it works the other way around.  The article is interesting throughout, including the photo and video, and for the pointer I thank Daniel Lippman.


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