Since 2006, President Obama has developed a special bond and relationship with his personnel aide and friend Reggie Love. Reggie Love is a 6’5” captain and forward of Duke Blue Devils basketball team, and a graduate of political science and public policy. He is 30, and he has decided to become a full-time student at the Wharton’s School of Business.
Everywhere President Obama goes his “body man” is there anticipating every move and everything the president needs. President Obama had this to say about his personnel aide.
“Over the years, Reggie has been a friend, a teammate and an indispensable member of my staff. From my Senate office to the White House his ability to juggle so many responsibilities with so little sleep has been an inspiration to watch. He is the master of what he does. And even though I will miss seeing Reggie every day, I want to thank him for his service and wish him the best as he begins a new chapter in his career.”
To me this decision took courage, because I am wondering how one tells the most powerful man in the world that it is time to move on. I also wonder if the president tried to talk Mr. Love out of his decision. I know that the two have developed many rituals that only a perfect friend understands.
As part of his campaign tradition, Love and Obama played basketball every day there was a primary during the 2008 presidential campaign. In my younger days I would play basketball with certain numbers of my friends, and it would keep me in shape, and help me think clearer. Playing basketball for brothers is a way we communicate, and it makes us feel great.
Along the way, some unofficial rules have emerged between the president and his “body man.” President Obama said, “One cardinal rule of the road is, we don’t watch CNN, the news, or MSNBC. We don’t watch any talking heads or any politics. We watch Sports Center and argue about that.”
In the political game and working for the president, there are many casualties, and some are asked and other get tired of the pressure. Rahm Emmanuel left because he became the mayor of Chicago, but Green Czar Van Jones was forced to quit his job. The turn over rate working for the president is high, and the president knows when you take the job you produce, or you fall by the wayside.
It appeared that Mr. Love had mastered his job with the president and this will be a great loss, because the president is getting ready for another campaign. Some of the stuff Mr. Love takes care of at the president’s side is dialing numbers, checking emails, and phone calls. When the president drops food on his tie while eating in the car between stops, Mr. Love is ready with a Tide pen. When it is a windy day and the president is shaking hands, Mr. Love is standing behind the president with a coat.
The dream job of working with the president is coming to an end. The president is aware that he has bigger fish to fry and he has to keep on moving forward. But when you lose a true friend it hurts, and the president will have to get used to not having Reggie around.
We now know who the statuesque figure standing next to the president in almost all of his pictures. It was the president’s younger “brother” and friend Reggie Love.