ABC's Puff Piece for Reggie Love, the President's 'Body Man'
On Tuesday night, ABC's World News pulled out another story that sounded like a fan letter to the Obama campaign. ESPN's Rachel Nichols, who just happens to be married to Diane Sawyer's stepson Max Nichols, paid tribute to Obama "body man" Reggie Love, now leaving the White House.
Love has been there for the small moments and the "landmark" moments, like passing the so-called "stimulus" bill -- as if that was an American highlight.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: It's kind of a funny title but for an entry level job, body man to the President is hard to beat. The lucky guy,
and they all have been guys so far, is counselor, valet, gate keeper and first buddy. And for the last three years, Reggie Love has done
the job for President Obama. Like all body men, he avoids the press, but now that he's leaving the White House, Love is pulling back the
curtain in this ABC News exclusive with Rachel Nichols of our sister network ESPN.
RACHEL NICHOLS: Reggie Love has been a constant presence, just feet away from President Obama, since we first met him during the 2008 ampaign. Love gave us a mini tour of what has since become his trademark, the things he carries.
REGGIE LOVE: This is like a lint brush, toothbrush, Scope, cough drops, Sudafed.
NICHOLS: Love started in the mailroom of Obama's Senate office, then moved onto the campaign where he famously bonded with the future president over a shared love of sports, notably, basketball. They were both rookies to presidential campaigns, learning their jobs along the
way and learning from each other.
BARACK OBAMA: I've hipped him to Aretha Franklin and John Coltrane and he, in turn, has downloaded Jay-Z and Lil' Wayne so that
I'm not a complete fuddy duddy.
NICHOLS: One historic election and three long years of work later, Love is packing up and saying goodbye to one amazing first job.
LOVE: And then this door right here, it leads to the Oval, one of the four doors that the President can enter or exit through.
NICHOLS: He showed us the tiny office he occupied just four feet away from the Oval office. His modest home base for long 18-hour
days and some nights spent sleeping here.
NICHOLS: This is you and the President laughing.
LOVE: I don't even know what the joke is there and if I did, I probably couldn't repeat it.
NICHOLS: A laugh shared with the President whom Love calls a mentor. A mentor, who in return refers to Love as a younger brother.
(Off-camera) What do you call the President when you're with him?
LOVE: Mr President in the presence of others, and if it's a casual scenario then I would just say "sir."
NICHOLS: Sir is your more casual thing?
LOVE: Yeah. He's the President.
NICHOLS: What does he do that drives you crazy and what do you do that drives him crazy?
LOVE: I'm 28, 29, stubborn and think that I know things that I may not know the answer to. He's like, you should take my advice. He's
like, I got elected president, you should listen to me.
NICHOLS: What about the other way?
LOVE: The guy loves to ride around with the AC off, like, in the summertime and I get hot, I start sweating. I'm, like, it's 80 degrees
in this car. I'm going to, like, pass out.
Nichols expressed amazement that Love had traveled about 880,000 milies with Obama:
RACHEL NICHOLS: You guys have traveled together almost a million miles. That's going to the moon and back three and a half times. That is going 35 times around the world.
LOVE: Whoa. Too bad we didn't fly commercial, then I could use some of those points.
NICHOLS: Many of those miles were spent traveling with the President's family.
LOVE: First and foremost, they're huge. I mean Malia has got to be almost, like, 5'11". We did the basketball clinics with them and,
you know, do drills and...
NICHOLS: So you're on the court drilling...
LOVE: Well, they're competitive. They want to win.
Here's where the "landmark moment" for the stimulus bill came in, even as Love's humility is a winning quality:
NICHOLS: His proximity to the President has meant he's been there for landmark moments in the Obama White House, sometimes even
delivering the news himself. Like when Love handed the President a note letting him know the stimulus bill had been passed.
NICHOLS: Has there been times along this way when you thought, 'this is my life.'
LOVE: It's the President's life. I think I've just been lucky to have been a very long passenger on an amazing ride and amazing
NICHOLS: Reporting for ABC News, Rachel Nichols, ESPN.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A million miles but the President's first name is always sir. Good luck, Reggie.