The return of Obama's 'body man'
Reggie Love resurfaces on eve of Republican convention
Hired as Obama’s “deputy political director,” the Duke University basketball and football star was the constant companion of the president for two years before resigning last November.
In the interview with CNN Monday, Love portrayed Obama as a cool-headed leader who doesn’t let problems ruffle him.
“I think it looks like he’s really, really calm all the time and nothing gets under his skin, but I think from an efficiency standpoint, you know, you can cry about the call or you can look to the next play,” Love told CNN. “And if you spend your time crying about the call, usually you, you miss the next play. And then … instead of having one bad play, now you have two.”
Today, the Drudge Report – which has toyed with headlines, photos and page placement over the years that give the impression Love was something more than a presidential assistant – linked to the story with the headline: “Reggie Love Speaks: Obama leads like he plays … ”
The headline was positioned above a story about former Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist’s key speaking role at the upcoming Democratic National Convention. The link was illustrated with a photo of Obama and Crist in which they appear to be preparing to kiss.
The embarrassing photos of Love as a college student have appeared and disappeared with regularity on various websites over the past year.
Earlier this month, when Obama asked Love to join the U.S. official delegation to the closing ceremonies of the London Olympics, reunion photos of Obama and Love showed them “fist bumping” in the Oval Office – a practice Love supposedly introduced to Obama.
Who is Reggie Love?
Love, a graduate of Duke University with a B.A. in political science and public policy, started working in 2006 in a low-level staff position in then-Sen. Obama’s office after failing NFL tryouts with the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys in 2004 and 2005.
In 2007, just before Obama’s presidential primary campaign was launched, Love moved up to assume the position of “personal assistant” to the candidate, a role typically dubbed as a “body man,” responsible for up-close and personal contact with Obama on virtually a 24-7 basis. As the New York Times reported, the job required anything from carrying Obama’s coat or briefcase, to providing him “cool” Jay-Z music for his iPod, to sneaking off to the gym and playing basketball.
In April 2009, Love won the Huffington Post’s “Who’s the White House’s hottest employee?” contest.
In January 2009, ESPN dubbed Love “Chief of Stuff” in an article that featured the following personal commentary:
Love walks in Obama’s shadow for about 18 hours a day, anticipating all his needs. He wakes up Obama around dawn, works out with him in the morning, answers his cell phone during the day and hangs out with him at night. Much of the time, he carries a black duffle bag stuffed with any drugstore item Obama could possibly need, including mouthwash, Wetnaps, aspirin, Nicorette and ballpoint pens. If the presumptive nominee were to spill something on his tie moments before a nationally televised debate, Love would rescue him with Tide stain remover.Love played on the 2001 Duke University basketball team that won the NCAA national championship. He was suspended the following year, however, for a drunk-driving incident in which he did not receive a citation because his blood alcohol measured just below the level of legal intoxication.
A further indiscretion with alcohol proved more costly.
Was it the photos?
The embarrassing photographs first gained wide circulation March 16, 2009, when the blog Booker Rising, a self-described “news site for black moderates and black conservatives,” linked to them.
Three photographs of the incident began appearing and disappearing on various Internet websites.
Investigative reporter Wayne Madsen, writing in his subscription-only newsletter on Nov. 14, 2011,, suggested that in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State, the photos of Love as a Duke student were too much for the White House:
The fallout from Penn State has universities and colleges across the nation checking their records for indications of child abuse and other scandals. … Past gay-oriented sex parties at Duke and the University of North Carolina involving then Duke basketball and football player Reggie Love reportedly cost him his job as President Obama’s ‘body man.’ De facto White House chief of staff Pete Rouse, upon hearing of potential problems regarding Love at Duke and UNC and on the heels of the scandal at Penn State, forced Love to leave the White House staff immediately, even over the objections of Obama.When Love departed, Obama was quoted in a statement issued by the White House saying, “Over the years, Reggie has been a friend, a teammate and an indispensible member of my staff.”
Obama said Love’s “ability to juggle so many responsibilities with so little sleep has been an inspiration to watch.”
“He is the master of what he does,” Obama said. “And even though I will miss seeing Reggie every day, I want to thank him for his service and wish him all the best as he begins a new chapter in his career.”
Meanwhile, HillBuzz, a website founded and edited by former Hillary Clinton campaign volunteer Kevin DuJan, challenged the White House’s explanation for Love’s departure.
DuJan, an openly gay man who is now a tea party activist, has an ongoing section of his website devoted to the question “Is Barack Obama Gay?”
On Nov. 10, 2011, DuJan published the following under the title “BIZARRE: White House releases statement on breakup of Barack Obama and his boyfriend Reggie Love”:
The White House today issued a historic and unprecedented press release – where a male President of the United States has announced his breakup with a male staffer and longtime lover.As WND reported, speculation about Obama’s sexuality has roiled beneath the radar of establishment media, fed, among other things, by Larry Sinclair’s sensational claims of cocaine-fueled homosexual acts with Obama in Chicago and reports of Obama’s “transgender nanny” in Indonesia.
In the press release, the term ‘body man’ is used instead of ‘boyfriend,’ ‘lover’, ‘paramour’, ‘special friend’, ‘f***buddy’, or all sorts of other appropriate vocabulary. But if you’re someone who hasn’t been in a coma for the last couple of years, you know the real deal.
A former radical activist from Occidental College who has recounted a 1980 encounter in which Obama affirmed revolutionary Marxist views, John Drew, told WND in an interview his strong impression at the time was that Obama and the wealthy Pakistani roommate who accompanied him were homosexual lovers.
Drew, who founded the Marxist-socialist club at Occidental to which Obama belonged, said he met the future president in December 1980 when Drew was a 23-year-old second-year graduate student at Cornell University.
Obama, a 19-year-old sophomore at Occidental at the time, was with diminutive Pakistani roommate Mohammed Hasan Chandoo.
“I really had the feeling that Obama was Chandoo’s ‘boy toy,’” Drew told WND.
Drew, who earned a Ph.D. from Cornell, is an award-winning political scientist who taught political science and economics at Williams College.
In previously published accounts of his meeting –dating from the 2008 presidential campaign – Drew made clear his conclusion that Obama and Chandoo were both Marxist revolutionaries. Contrary to Drew, who remarked he was not as radical as Obama, Obama believed a violent, communist revolution was coming to the U.S.
In the interview with WND, Drew focused on his suspicion the two were romantically involved.
“The first time I saw Barack Obama and Hassan Chandoo together, I thought they were a wealthy gay couple,” Drew said.
“In fact, they looked so gay that my girlfriend, Caroline Boss, whispered to me, ‘They’re not gay.’ So, that confirmed to me I wasn’t the only one who thought Barack Obama and Hassan Chandoo looked like they were in a very close, intimate relationship.”
Drew admitted he was confused about Chandoo’s sexuality, considering it possible the Pakistani was bisexual, especially after he learned Occidental classmate Margo Mifflin was Chandoo’s girlfriend at the time.
“I remembered Mifflin from my senior year at Occidental when we had both participated in various protest events on campus,” Drew commented. “I had the impression that Mifflin was living with Chandoo and Obama in Chandoo’s apartment in Pasadena.”
Drew told WND he was not aware at the time of his 1980 meeting that Obama was wearing a gold-band ring on the wedding ring finger of his left hand.
He first learned of it in two articles WND published showing Obama was wearing the ring from his years at Occidental College, from 1979 to 1981, through 1990, when a satirical issue of the Harvard Law Review referred to it.