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A fine article about Reggie! Obama’s aide

On the Court and on the Trail, One Aide Looms Over Obama

Reggie Love, Senator Barack Obama’s personal aide, relieved him of a pen. 

By ASHLEY PARKER

Published: May 27, 2008

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.)

He knows that “the boss,” as he calls Mr. Obama, likes MET-Rx chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew — Black Forest Berry Honest Tea. He keeps a supply of both on hand.

And he has learned that all campaigns have their superstitions — Senator John McCain has a penchant for heads-up coins — and that Mr. Obama is no exception. That means that Mr. Love and Mr. Obama, for luck, play basketball every primary day.

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.

“There’s no doubt that Reggie is cooler than I am,” Mr. Obama said, laughing, in a phone interview. “I am living vicariously through Reggie.”

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.)

Link to complete story in The New York Times >>

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