April 4th, 2009
02:15 PM ET
5 years ago

Laid-off banker finds work as Obama

Michael Lamar was laid off in January but has a new job as a Barack Obama look-alike.
Michael Lamar was laid off in January but has a new job as a Barack Obama look-alike.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (CNN) - Regular programming has just been interrupted by a news conference. A slender black man in a suit steps up to a podium, flanked by American flags and a White House logo.

"I wish I could announce such an economic package," he says, "but there is a bank in Turkey that did it. It is Garanti. I wish we had Garanti in America."

Don't be fooled. This is a commercial on Turkish TV. The actor is a 44-year-old Barack Obama look-alike from Whitehall, Pennsylvania, named Michael Lamar. And he is shilling for a Turkish bank.

In the month before the real Barack Obama is to visit Turkey, this ad campaign went out all across the country on television and on billboards, using the iconic, Warholian image of the American president to sell low-interest loans.

The "Mad Men" behind the concept say their Obama look-alike was the perfect guy to sell what they described as Garanti Bank's own economic stimulus package.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Mobius

    Son of a gun. He *IS* creating jobs! I stand corrected!

    It's nice to see somebody getting an opportunity out of this mess.

    April 4, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. anonymous

    Not funny, plain out stupid!!!!!

    April 4, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. Willy Brown

    I bet Michael Lamar has an Americian birth certificate he can show anytime to anyone.

    April 4, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. TJ

    Hey Willy Brown: I don't care where our president was born. Until he proves me wrong, I will support him no matter what.

    April 4, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. dg

    i wonder how long this job will last

    April 4, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. JoeCool

    Finally, the stimulus plan at work.

    April 4, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. alvino

    I wonder if Lamar got a Bush bailout when he left banking.

    April 4, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Lee

    Feel sorry for him, he will be hated by the whole world?

    April 4, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. Jasmine in Germany

    The best form of flattery is imitation.

    April 4, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. D. Simmons, TX.

    Lee, HATED, you have got to be kidding me! You obviously have been living under a rock for the last 3 months. Have you not seen the President's ratings that are constantly rising.

    The world loves him, with the exception of the Republicans, and you all's opinion doesn't matter. With that said, I'll not waste any more time on you.

    April 4, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. Kent in CA

    Sign him up SNL! You can give us a 2012 Obama vs Palin preview.

    April 4, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. Franky

    You see, I don't care about people's feelings, LOL!! I'm playing, I'm playing.

    Hey, you gotta do to try and make a buck and if impersonating and mocking our President works for you, then I say go all in, LOL!!

    April 4, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  13. Biased

    Obama creating jobs with stimulus money : 25 policemen and 1 impersonator
    Obama trashing jobs: St. Louis asked and were refused from using their stimulus money to keep 500+ bus employees and routes going for "main street" workers and the disabled.
    I would say he was down 474 already.

    April 4, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. Michael B

    Is this technically the first job created by the Obama administration?

    April 4, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. Mike

    To TJ who doesn't care if the president is an American citizen or not; are you crazy? The constitution has been disregarded by everyone for so long now we don't even remember what it says. If we don't get back to the intent of our founding fathers and abide be ALL of the constution/bill of rights we will no longer have a land of the free and a home of the brave.

    April 5, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |