Body Man

The President of the United States, is, at the end of the day, a person — with everyday things to do, just like anyone else.  But you never see him carrying anything more than, perhaps, a small portfolio, running the tiny errands which make up our everyday lives.

As you’d expect, the President has a personal servant who worries about those things.  That person is called a “body man.”  President Obama’s?  A man named Reggie Love, pictured above, playing basketball with the President.  Mr. Love’s job is to be the President’s walking, talking answer to life’s little needs.  (As President Obama told the New York Times, when asked if he had an iPad: “I have an iReggie, who has my books, my newspapers, my music all in one place.”)

A thankless job, perhaps, and also mostly an invisible one.  Getting the job? How to do so is anyone’s guess.  Other than the obvious close, personal relationship with the President, the backgrounds of recent body men is seemingly random.  Mr. Love is a former college basketball and football player who won a national title at Duke (basketball) but failed to find a roster spot on an NFL roster, instead applied for and landed an internship with then-Senator Obama in 2006.  President George W. Bush’s body man from 2002-2006, Blake Gottesman, was a former boyfriend of the President’s daughter Jenna.  Bush met Gottesman when the former was Governor of Texas and began as a deputy aide for White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card in 2000, but rose up the hierarchy before President Bush’s first term was out.

Bonus fact: On November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m., President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot as his motorcade drove through Dallas, Texas. The assassination was famously filmed by John Zapruder.  But there was another tape made that day.  JFK’s body man, David Powers, was filming as well, from the car directly following the presidential limousine.  But his film didn’t capture the assassination — he ran out of film thirteen minutes earlier.

From the Archives:  Vice President… Who?: The President gets to pick his body man, obviously, and nowadays, he gets to pick his running mate as well.  That wasn’t always the case, however, and in one election year, it lead to a crazy result.

Related: Dog Days at the White House: The Outrageous Memoirs of the Presidential Kennel Keeper by Traphes L. Bryant.

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