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Presidential hopeful completes book

by Stephanie Hickey, associate Lifestyles editor

 
Brian Anderson, who calls himself, among other things, a future candidate for President of the United States, has been using HPU’s facilities to finish a book about his 1,000 days of travel across America.

 

Over the past several years, Anderson has traveled to all 50 states, talking to people, immerging himself in local culture, and finding out what it is that drives Americans. Though the book is his main focus right now, he sees it as an instrumental tool that will propel him towards the presidency in 2020.

 

Anderson began correspondence with HPU’s Vice President of Administration, E. Rick Stepien, via e-mail. Stepien gave him permission to set up camp here. “I needed a homebase,” Anderson said of his affiliation with the university.

Anderson graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in accounting. While looking at graduate schools on the mainland, he began asking himself, “Where do I see myself in 10 years.” Knowing he wanted to eventually pursue politics, but still a bit unsure about the best route to follow, he decided to blaze a trail of his own. Armed with a laptop, video camera, and some charisma, he set out to learn about America and write a book about it.

The past several years have been tumultuous and exciting for this country and Anderson has seen more than most. He worked on George W. Bush’s campaign for reelection of the Texas governor in 1998. He was a Red Cross volunteer during the September 11th tragedy, which he said “Was one of the most important things I’ve ever done in my life.”

Anderson has also witnessed aspects of this country that are often swept under the rug or isolated to remote areas of the community. After just two weeks on the island, he has already found his way to impoverished rural O‘ahu. His pictures of the beautiful Waianae Coast showcased something not so beautiful: a homeless woman living on the beach with her toddler.

Researching his book has been an effort entirely without frills. He never knows where he’ll end up, and he relies, he said, on “wonderful families and friends that I meet along the way.” Recently he’s been staying with Ken Onion and family. Onion resides in Kapolei and is “America’s number 1 knife designer” Anderson said, adding that he creates everything from kitchen knives to collector’s items.

Though Anderson has had significant attention from the media he’s been interviewed by CNN and the Sacramento Bee to name a few—his mission, from the start, has been to “blend in.” Achieving celebrity status is not one of his goals. “I don’t need to hype myself up, right now,” he said.

Anderson’s book will be narrated from a first-person perspective. He has limited financial backing, enough for 5,000 copies, and therefore plans to publish the book independently. He expects to have completed the book by the end of the semester and then to release it this summer. Though he may consider larger publishing contracts in the future, he said he’s “not about the money.”

 

 

 

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