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A long-lost friend of Barry Obama

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 23, 2007 02:06 PM

Jackie Calmes has a fascinating, sad piece in the WSJ about Keith Kakugawa, a troubled high school friend and mentor of Sen. Barack Obama’s. Obama featured Kakugawa (whom he referred to with a pseudoym) in his best-selling memoir. Journalists uncovered Kakugawa’s identity and tracked him down. He had just been released from prison after a third drug-related conviction. The story ends with a phone call from the homeless Kakugawa on an L.A. street corner last week to the Dems’ rock star in the nation’s capital:

Mr. Kakugawa said he was struggling and needed help. Later, he summarized the exchange as “short, sweet and to the point. He really acted like he didn’t have a lot of time to spend with me.” Mr. Obama said he had to get to New Hampshire for a weekend of campaigning, according to Mr. Kakugawa, and cautioned him against talking to reporters.

Mr. Obama declined to be interviewed about the conversation but said in an earlier interview that he recently became aware that Mr. Kakugawa had “serious issues.”

Kakugawa asked Obama for money. Obama refused.

Hat tip: Tom Bevan at RCP.

Posted in: Barack Obama

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