Outgoing Obama aide can't stand the heat
23 November 2011, 09:01
Washington - US President Barack Obama's personal aide, gatekeeper
and basketball sparring partner Reggie Love says that one of the coolest
jobs in the world sometimes has its downside: No air conditioning.
thing that used to kill me is that the guy loves to ride around with
the AC off in the summertime," Love said in an interview with an ESPN
sports television network to be broadcast on Tuesday on ABC television.
I get hot. I start sweating. And I'm like, it's 26°c in this car. I'm
going to pass out," said Love, 30, who is due to step down later this
year to attend the University of Pennsylvania's elite Wharton School of
Obama, who is known to keep his Oval Office at temperatures
reminiscent of his native Hawaii, was a senator when he first brought
the towering 1.9m former college basketball star into his orbit in 2006.
as a "body man", Love is a cross between a personal valet and constant
companion for Obama, is often asked for a pen so the president can sign
T-shirts of supporters and acts as a partner on the basketball court.
is always with Obama, in the White House, on his Marine One helicopter,
as the president shakes hands on a ropeline at campaign events, or
criss-crosses the globe aboard his Air Force One official airplane.
two have flown an astounding 1.4 million kilometres together since
Obama launched his historic 2008 run for the White House, according to
researchers at ABC television.
US presidents are known to carry
little if anything in their pockets, so Love carries a bag with travel
essentials: collar stays, stain remover, and dental products that Obama
does not hesitate to use in front of him.
"If he had it his way, I
think he'd floss in private," Love said. "I think the fact that he was
comfortable with me is probably a product of, you know, he's beaten
down. I've been around for so long."
Back in 2010, before he got
his iPad, Obama was asked by a New York Times reporter whether he had
one of the wildly popular Apple devices and quipped: "I have an iReggie,
who has my books, my newspapers, my music all in one place."
has been to 31 countries - a few more than once- and 40 of the 50 US
states since his January 2009 inauguration, according to statistics kept
by CBS news, with Love a fixture at his side.
Love told ESPN he
was grateful to be a "very long passenger on an amazing ride" and that
he'll miss quiet moments with the president, including an evening ritual
when Obama checks in to say what the next day holds in store.
"I know definitely I'm going to miss that," Love said.
"He's been like big brother to me, a mentor. I've learned so much about life from him."