AP Source: Obama's personal assistant leaving job

November 10, 2011 - 11:30 AM
Obama Personal Assistant

FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama talks to his personal aide Reggie Love at Asheville Regional Airport in Fletcher, N.C. Love is leaving the White House. A person familiar with the decision says Love will leave the White House by the end of the year. Love has served as Obama's personal assistant _ also known as the president's

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's personal assistant is leaving the White House.

Reggie Love, the former Duke basketball player who has been a constant presence by Obama's side since the 2008 presidential campaign, will depart the White House by the end of the year, a person familiar with his decision said.

Love, 30, is the latest in a string of longtime Obama aides to leave the White House this year, including senior adviser David Axelrod, press secretary Robert Gibbs, deputy press secretary Bill Burton and deputy communications director Jen Psaki. All were part of Obama's team since at least since the 2008 race.

But it is Love who has had perhaps the most unique access to the president.

As Obama's personal assistant — a job that's also known as the president's "body man" — since the beginning of the administration, Love has been a near-constant presence by Obama's side, both at the White House and in travels around and outside the United States.

Love first started working for Obama in his Senate office, and was promoted to personal assistant during the presidential campaign.

His job requirements have included everything from carrying copies of the president's speeches, his iPod, and a steady supply of gum, newspapers and aspirin, to taking photos for audience members as they shook the president's hand. Wherever the president goes, Love has rarely been more than a few steps behind.

"I have an iReggie, who has my books, my newspapers, my music, all in one place," Obama said in an interview last year.

The president also credited Love for expanding his musical repertoire, introducing him to artists like Nas and Lil Wayne. Love has been a frequent teammate on the court for the sports-obsessed president. During the 2008 campaign, Obama and Love started a tradition of playing basketball on the day of every primary or caucus.

Love's immediate plans upon leaving the White House were unclear. The source was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Love's departure was first reported by The Washington Post.