Reggie Love’s Labor Lost

Nov 10, 2011 7:13am
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Brett Flashnick/AP Photo

The man by Barack Obama’s side since even before the early days of Iowa is leaving.

Reggie Love, 30, a 6’5″ former forward for the 2001 NCAA championship-winning Duke Blue Devils basketball team and President Obama’s omnipresent personal aide, is departing the White House in the next few weeks, sources told ABC News.

A former wide receiver for the Duke football team, he tried out for several NFL teams, but those dreams didn’t come to fruition. Love, a former ABC News World News person of the week in January 2009, applied for an internship in Sen. Barack Obama’s Senate office.

He eventually worked his way to the senator’s side, and they bonded over sports and began a superstitious ritual of playing basketball on primary and caucus days, developing a sibling-like relationship, with the president likening him to a “little brother.”

“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,” President Obama told ESPN.

A 2008 New York Times profile of Love quoted the aide saying he had been hired with “no job description whatsoever. It was just like, ‘You just go out there and — Take. Care. Of. Stuff.’

“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. When Mr. Obama dropped food on his tie while eating in the car between stops, Mr. Love was ready with a Tide pen.”

Love has helped the president in myriad ways, mostly by just keeping track of him, steering him through crowds, and holding on to anything he needs.

“I have an iReggie, who has my books, my newspapers, my music all in one place,” the president has joked.

The news of Love’s departure was first reported by Anne Korblut of the Washington Post.

-Jake Tapper

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