Faux-bama Flees Florida

Our charred-turkey economy chases away the Obama doppelganger.

With our economy about as lively as cranberry jelly from a can, approximately 51 percent of Floridians are thankful Barack Obama's Change® is on its way. Too bad it'll come a few months too late for New Times' favorite presidential-elect doppelganger.

Last month, we introduced you to Gerardo Puisseaux ("Faux-bama!" October 30), a Cuban immigrant who bears an uncanny resemblance to Obama. To support himself and his kids in Havana, he turned his face into a hustle as an impersonator on the Spanish-language channel América Tevé.

When we caught up with Puisseaux, who can't vote, after Obama's victory, we were treated to a confusing clash of emotions.

"We won! We won!" he greeted Riptide. "I'm really, really happy for the United States, for Cuba, and for the world."

But not so much for himself. In Florida, he lamented, "I don't have a future."

The TV studio stopped offering him impersonation roles, he said. So partly to escape an exclusivity contract that doesn't allow him to impersonate Obama for anyone else in the state, Puisseaux and wife Hortensia have packed their bags and are headed back to their former home, Seattle.

His boss, América Tevé executive producer Damian Romay, says Puisseaux turned down a pre-election spate of impersonation gigs for the channel, inferring that Faux-bama has become a diva. "As soon as he found out he had some potential as an impersonator," Romay says, "he didn't show up to work."

But America might not have heard the last of Faux-bama. Puisseaux reasons he has "eight years" to lose the Spanish accent, take some acting classes, and explode onto the national impersonation scene. He vows, "If Obama can change the USA, I can change my life." ¡Sí, se puede!

 
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