Reggie Love on his New Book, Power Forward: My Presidential Education

Reggie Love and President Barack Obama  SIMON AND SCHUSTER
Reggie Love and President Barack Obama

Don’t even bother asking Reggie Love about that infamous card game that he and President Barack Obama reportedly played while Navy SEALs were en route to Abbottabad, Pakistan, with orders to kill Osama bin Laden.

Because the only thing Love was willing to say during an interview about his new book, Power Forward: My Presidential Education, is that the entire story had been “overblown” in the media.

Maybe he’s still instinctively shielding Obama, but Love wouldn’t divulge anything further about what really went down that night, only saying—when I asked him if the president can, as they say, play his hand, or if he overbids or underbids—that Obama is actually “a very good spades player.”

“When he’s focusing, he’s good. When he’s not, sometimes there’s some slippage,” the 33-year-old North Carolina native chuckled before he confessed, “In all fairness, I’m the same way.”

Those are the kinds of little gems that he divulged during our 40-minute conversation about his time spent as President Obama’s personal aide.

Love stayed on as the president’s “body man” during Obama’s first term and left in 2012 to pursue a career in business. Now that Love has caught his breath—a bit—and is no longer hopscotching from state to state and hotel room to hotel room, making sure Obama is sorted out and where he needs to be, Power Forward is his opportunity to reflect on his upbringing and his experience as a basketball player for national powerhouse Duke, which prepared him for his White House role. And he says he’s a better person after spending something like 15 hours a day with Obama over the course of several years.

Yep, 15 hours a day.

And some element of Obama’s style must have rubbed off on Love, since he sounds, well, presidential. I stopped him midway through one of his responses and asked if he had undergone media training, or if he naturally spoke with the same cadence, intonation and mindfulness that sound eerily like a well-trained politician—or, more specifically, like Obama.

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Source: The Root

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