There can be no denying that Sarah Palin is a rock star among conservatives. Even a fake version managed to gain some attention at a conservative conference that heard from some potential presidential wannabes.

USA-POLITICS/A woman who resembled the former Alaska governor — similar hairstyle, glasses, red outfit — got a warm welcome as she wandered around greeting people during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

One observer found at close range it was obvious she wasn’t the real former Republican vice presidential candidate, but not a bad likeness form a little distance.

The real Sarah Palin had been invited to the conference but said she couldn’t make it.

But even absent, she managed to end up in some controversy.

As Steve Holland reported yesterday, formerĀ  Senator Rick Santorum drew fire from Palin for a television interview in which he seemed to suggest she was skipping the conference because she would not be paid for appearing.