New York Times article on Reggie Love, Barack Obama’s “Body Man”
I ran across a nice article in Tuesday’s New York Times about Barack Obama’s right hand man Reggie Love. Here are some excerpts from Ashley Parker’s front page piece On the Court and On the Trail.
- In the last year, Barack Obama has learned a thing or two about running for president, and Reggie Love has learned a thing or two about Barack Obama. Mr. Love now knows that when it comes to food, Senator Obama “eats pretty much anything, from chicken wings and barbecue and ribs to grilled fish and steamed broccoli.” But when he is campaigning in a small town with limited options, a cheeseburger is always a good bet. (“Cheddar is the cheese of choice,” Mr. Love added.)
- Mr. Love, 26, is Mr. Obama’s body man, the personal aide who shadows the senator and anticipates everything he needs — and everything he does not need. He is not a bodyguard (security is provided by the Secret Service), but rather the ultimate assistant, rarely more than a body length away from the candidate.
- Young, eager campaign aides are stock characters in movies and on television, but few have quite the élan of Mr. Love, who, at 6-foot-5, is about three inches taller than the tall candidate, fitter than the fit candidate (he can bench press more than 350 pounds) and cooler than the cool candidate.
- Mr. Love, who played football and basketball at Duke, usually starts the day with Mr. Obama with a dawn workout in the hotel gym. They end the day more than 15 hours later, often unwinding before bed by watching ESPN’s “SportsCenter” or that night’s big game. (Mr. Obama sometimes flosses his teeth to ESPN while lying down.)
- Mr. Love said he had been hired with “no job description whatsoever. It was just like, ‘You just go out there and — Take. Care. Of. Stuff,’ ” Mr. Love said, taking his time with each word.
Some of the “stuff” Mr. Love takes care of: When Mr. Obama makes calls to woo superdelegates, Mr. Love is at his side with a briefing book, dialing the numbers. When an outdoor speech ended on a windy day in Noblesville, Ind., he appeared behind Mr. Obama as he shook hands on the rope line. “Jacket?” he asked, a coat draped at the ready over his arm.
Sometimes I hear people ask whether Barack Obama has any black folks working in positions of importance in his campaign. Technically all of the positions are important but I know what they mean.
It’s good to see a young African-American male like Mr. Love have the opportunity to serve in such a lofty position. Some might think rolling around with a Tide Pen in your pocket is not much to aspire to, but I would beg to differ.