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The following item is part of a series in which we corner people at the 2009 Hawaii State Society Inaugural Ball and ask them, “So, what’s your connection with the president?”
Ronald Loui went to school with Obama, plenty-enough connection to power to merit his own installment in this to-be-award-winning series. But again on this magic night at the 2009 Hawaii State Society Inaugural Ball, there’s so much more to this connection that we’re considering contacting a literary agent.
Thing is, Ronald Loui not only went to school with Obama, he appeared in one of Obama’s books, as “Frederick,” a “slender Chinese kid with dental headgear.” Obama put pseudonyms in his books to protect the privacy of his schoolmates and others. Which lends an element of intrigue to the Obama-connection story of Ronald Loui. See, Ronald Loui has a theory that Obama pseudonymized him as “Frederick” after Frederick Douglass, the towering 19th Century abolitionist. That had to be it.
Again, there’s always more when it comes to this Hawaii ball that’s bursting with journo-anecdotes. Anyhow, Ronald Loui and several of his classmates published a book available only online that’s titled “Our Friend Barry.” Ronald Loui says that in working on the book, he found a guy who remembers a parent who said as far back as 1982 that Obama could be a senator and maybe even president.
Reporting by Amanda Hess, writing by Erik Wemple.