Reggie Love, President Obama’s longtime aide, will leave the White House by the end of the year. Love, a former forward for the 2001 NCAA championship-winning Duke Blue Devils basketball team and wide receiver for the university’s football team, began working for Obama as a staff assistant in his Senate office when his dream of joining the National Football League didn’t come true. His departure could be the most personally difficult one for the president to bear.
In his role as “body man,” as his position is known, Love is a constant presence at Obama’s side both in the White House and whenever the president travels. He keeps the president on schedule, carries copies of the president’s speeches and keeps on hand anything he could ask for, from aspirin to pen. The two also frequently work out and play basketball together and have formed a deep bond. Obama has described him as a “little brother.”
Love also has influenced the president’s musical tastes, keeping him, or at least his iPod, up to date.
“I have hipped him to Aretha Franklin and John Coltrane ... and he, in turn, has downloaded Jay-Z and Lil Wayne and some of these folks so that I am, you know, not a complete fuddy-duddy,” Obama said in an interview on ESPN.
Love’s departure, first reported by The Washington Post, will be especially missed on what’s certain to be a bumpy campaign trail. During Obama’s first White House bid, the two started a tradition of playing basketball on the day of each every primary and caucus.
(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)