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Power Forward: My Presidential Education

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Reggie Love is a unique witness to history, whose introduction to Washington was working in Junior Senator Barack Obama’s mailroom. As “body man” to Obama during his first presidential campaign, Love’s job was to stay one step behind the candidate, but think and act three steps ahead during a typical eighteen-hour workday. As President Obama’s personal aide during that Reggie Love is a unique witness to history, whose introduction to Washington was working in Junior Senator Barack Obama’s mailroom. As “body man” to Obama during his first presidential campaign, Love’s job was to stay one step behind the candidate, but think and act three steps ahead during a typical eighteen-hour workday. As President Obama’s personal aide during that momentous first term, Love sat yards from the Oval Office and often spent more time with the President than anyone else. While his experiences were unique, the lessons he learned during his tenure with the President are universal. Persistence. Responsibility. Passion for a cause greater than yourself. In short, maturity. Love has been singularly lucky in his mentors. At Duke University, where he was a walk-on and a captain of its fabled basketball team, Love learned from Coach Krzyzewski that sports builds character—from President Obama, Love learned that how you conduct your life defines your character. Accountability and serving with honor were learned during unsought moments: co-coaching with Malia Obama’s and Sasha Obama’s basketball team with the President; lending Obama his tie ahead of a presidential debate; managing a personal life when no hour is truly your own. From his first interview with Senator Obama, to his near-decision not to follow the President-elect to the White House, Love drew on Coach K’s teachings as he learned to navigate Washington. But it was while owning up to (temporarily) losing the President’s briefcase, playing pick-up games in New Hampshire to secure votes, babysitting the children of visiting heads of state, and keeping the President company at every major turning point of his historic first campaign and administration, that Love learned how persistence and passion can lead not only to success, but to a broader concept of adulthood. Power Foward is a professional coming of age story like no other.


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Reggie Love is a unique witness to history, whose introduction to Washington was working in Junior Senator Barack Obama’s mailroom. As “body man” to Obama during his first presidential campaign, Love’s job was to stay one step behind the candidate, but think and act three steps ahead during a typical eighteen-hour workday. As President Obama’s personal aide during that Reggie Love is a unique witness to history, whose introduction to Washington was working in Junior Senator Barack Obama’s mailroom. As “body man” to Obama during his first presidential campaign, Love’s job was to stay one step behind the candidate, but think and act three steps ahead during a typical eighteen-hour workday. As President Obama’s personal aide during that momentous first term, Love sat yards from the Oval Office and often spent more time with the President than anyone else. While his experiences were unique, the lessons he learned during his tenure with the President are universal. Persistence. Responsibility. Passion for a cause greater than yourself. In short, maturity. Love has been singularly lucky in his mentors. At Duke University, where he was a walk-on and a captain of its fabled basketball team, Love learned from Coach Krzyzewski that sports builds character—from President Obama, Love learned that how you conduct your life defines your character. Accountability and serving with honor were learned during unsought moments: co-coaching with Malia Obama’s and Sasha Obama’s basketball team with the President; lending Obama his tie ahead of a presidential debate; managing a personal life when no hour is truly your own. From his first interview with Senator Obama, to his near-decision not to follow the President-elect to the White House, Love drew on Coach K’s teachings as he learned to navigate Washington. But it was while owning up to (temporarily) losing the President’s briefcase, playing pick-up games in New Hampshire to secure votes, babysitting the children of visiting heads of state, and keeping the President company at every major turning point of his historic first campaign and administration, that Love learned how persistence and passion can lead not only to success, but to a broader concept of adulthood. Power Foward is a professional coming of age story like no other.

30 review for Power Forward: My Presidential Education

  1. 5 out of 5

    J Beckett

    Title: Power Forward 225 pages Publication Date: February 3, 2015 By Reggie Love Political memoirs are not at the top of my literary must-read list, nor are they even at the bottom. The fact is, they aren't on the list at all. I've read several (a couple were memorable) and without fail, most left me emotionally arid, dry to my core, bored, filled with questions and weary from their tireless, one-dimensional commentary. I was often rendered, for reasons still difficult to explain, overcome with the Title: Power Forward 225 pages Publication Date: February 3, 2015 By Reggie Love Political memoirs are not at the top of my literary must-read list, nor are they even at the bottom. The fact is, they aren't on the list at all. I've read several (a couple were memorable) and without fail, most left me emotionally arid, dry to my core, bored, filled with questions and weary from their tireless, one-dimensional commentary. I was often rendered, for reasons still difficult to explain, overcome with the feeling that I had fallen, somehow, beneath the 'caste' radar of privilege and intellectual equality when compared to the book’s cartoonish characters, settings, and plot. More often than not, I found myself pouring over amber pages occupied by ivy league tales, the family business, elaborate trips, family trusts, Martha’s Vineyard or some impressively surreal sexual tryst at a Gregorian “compound” in eastern Europe. These memories, while expressive, never reflected the life with which I am familiar, so the highly beloved memoir is usually not a viable contender on the list of my next great read. Surprisingly, I found, purely through curiosity, an inspiring book based on political reflection that had me more entertained than I would have ever imagined. What separated this memoir from most, aside from its subject matter and immediate personal connection, was the fact that it was written by a true insider; what was referred to as "a body man," a personal assistant. Not surprisingly, it was a memoir based on the ever mesmerizing and incomparably tantalizing Obama presidency. The book, Power Forward, was written, respectfully (almost ad nauseum), by President Obama's "body man," Reggie Love. Because I think everyone should read this book, whether a fan or opponent of President Obama, I will try to avoid giving too many spoilers, but... will say this... Love has written a political "adoration" story, uniquely allowing glimpses into the day (more like a year or two) of the life of a budding, and eventually, the American president, before and after he took office. Impressively, he was able to effectively capture the feelings, magic and mayhem of campaigning [upon these American trails] as an African American with no initial national clout and then, almost magically, granted the very high and likely possibility of being victorious and becoming a historical "first". Love writes with a gentle pen. Certainly he could have exposed some sort of muck that makes a writer's career, especially considering the position he was in, but opted to show that his respect superseded that quest for notoriety and temporary exposure. The stories are relatively light and kind, bonding and special, reminiscent more of big brother / little brother or father and son than employer/employee. Undoubtedly, Love knew then, although he opted, it seems, to act aloof throughout the book, that he was a pretty damn lucky guy. For most of the memoir, Love quietly references possible careers in basketball, football or corporate America (going as far as try-outs and practices), but seems to put his position as "body man" to a politician--a political icon-- on the cusp of significant governmental tremble, in the same category as boy scout or "oops" man. He spends an exorbitant amount of time informing the reader of his numerous mistakes and graceless blunders, mistakes that, for as minor as they seemed, sometimes stole away the fact that he had attended Duke, has hard earned stock, and pretty sharp wits. There are several moments in the book when Love gives the impression that working as the young senator's assistant was a: "I had no other choices," type gig, rather than, as the writing of the book proves, a stepping stone or gateway to a dream come true. There are more depth and anecdotal moments as the memoir progresses, but not in the same vain as a great novel or season writer's non-fiction. The reader is exposed to and gets swallowed up in fraternity type interactions, a constant thrill of competitiveness, and several doses of 'bro-therapy', giving the reassurance that Obama is real in his naturalness, but carries himself in constant awareness of his purpose. Jokes and playful manly interactions are sincere, but it is clear, according to Love's commentary, that everyone knew Obama was the Alpha. There is so much remaining to comment upon, but the methods used in the writing of this book does not permit for much to be said without treading upon that forbidden zone of spoiling the story further. The book is episodic, almost oppressive in its choppy approach. But it is, as aforementioned, entertaining and a relaxed read. Truthfully, it would make a decent documentary if ever produced for television; more HBO than VH1. Despite its valleys, as it does have some magnificent peaks, Power Forward is a worthy read and a personal journey which helps one to understand why ("firsts" aside) the world loves this president.

  2. 5 out of 5

    George Briggs

    Basketball Connection Duke University basketball captain and football player shared a love for basketball, and soon after became Senator Obama's personal assistant. Reggie Love pens a very insightful story of not only his personal growth, but also reveals the behind the scene experiences of a president who has already impacted America in many positive ways. Reggie Love lauds the intelligence, patience, and vision of his boss who from day 1 had to deal with negativity and obstruction from the Basketball Connection Duke University basketball captain and football player shared a love for basketball, and soon after became Senator Obama's personal assistant. Reggie Love pens a very insightful story of not only his personal growth, but also reveals the behind the scene experiences of a president who has already impacted America in many positive ways. Reggie Love lauds the intelligence, patience, and vision of his boss who from day 1 had to deal with negativity and obstruction from the other side of the aisle in Congress. At times, I saw many of the same themes mentioned by President Obama in his book Audacity To Hope.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kevin C

    This book, "Power Forward: My Presidential Education" by Reggie Love, has been on my household bookshelf for about six months, I have always been interested in the "Political Process" so I new this book would bring great insight to current and former trends in Washington D.C. After finishing the first chapter I knew this book was a perfect fit for my Sophomore Year Reading Challenge September Book. Reggie Love was just your typical teenage boy, growing up in Charolette, North Carolina. Love This book, "Power Forward: My Presidential Education" by Reggie Love, has been on my household bookshelf for about six months, I have always been interested in the "Political Process" so I new this book would bring great insight to current and former trends in Washington D.C. After finishing the first chapter I knew this book was a perfect fit for my Sophomore Year Reading Challenge September Book. Reggie Love was just your typical teenage boy, growing up in Charolette, North Carolina. Love attended High School, at the Providence Day School also located in Charolette. Love's family struggled to make ends meet and could barely afford to send him to the Providence Day School, but with his fathers strong work ethic he was able to attend school where he excelled in the classroom. Although Love was a stellar student he was an athlete at heart. Love played both Basketball and Football at the Providence Day School. Following his senior year, Reggie Love committed to Duke University where he was on a dual athletic scholarship for both Football and Basketball. At Duke, Love majored in Political Science, which was the dawn of his time with Senator and soon to be President Barack Obama. Following Graduating from Duke, Love applied for an Internship on Capitol Hill with Senator Barack Obama. In 2006, Love was interviewed by future White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, instantly a bond had formed and Reggie began about two weeks after the interview. The transition from life, from Charolette to Washington D.C was extremely difficult. In Charolette, life was much more relaxed as D.C was scheduled second by second. On February 10th, 2007 Senator Barack Obama (a democrat) announced his intentions to run for President of the United States. Soon after this Reggie Love began to serve in the Obama Campaign as Senator Obama's assistant, in this he was responsible for completing every task that the candidate had asked for. Reggie soon learned about Obama's love for basketball. He saw this as an opportunity to bond with the candidate so he took advantage of this. Love noted that Obama and him would play one on one basketball before every public event. Love said one of his most valuable lessons that Obama had taught him was to interact with people in any political presence. Love and Obama would often play games of Basketball with teenagers in inner city settings. Up until the day of the election the Chaotic campaign stops would bring stress to Love and Obama's day to day life. On the evening of November 4th, 2007, Barack Obama had one the presidency which was a bittersweet moment for Love. Love was preparing to head back to Charolette and begin an Office Job like many of the people he graduated with. He was wrong. Obama offered Love a Position as the Personal Aid to President and he began on January 20th, 2008. In this Book, the Contrast between personal stories and professional stories really compliment each other perfectly. Love reflects on the Bond that he built with Obama from a Profession Standpoint. The Only thing that I dislike about this book is the way that it is set up, the Book starts in 2008, then Jumps to Loves Childhood then Jumps to 2006 which can be confusing to some readers. I highly recommend "Power Forward: My Presidential Education"

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    This book was a quick memoir by Reggie Love that focused mostly on his time as Barack Obama's body man during the 2008 campaign. There are many asides to his youth, his time at Duke as a student and athlete, and working for then President Obama - but most of the story was campaign related. Love basically uses his stories to convey short life lessons and philosophies to the reader. It is a simple book and a quick read but I enjoyed it - especially the parts about his interactions with Obama.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Naeemah Huggins

    Reggie Love was President Obama's Personal Aide or bodyman from the time he announced his candidacy in 2007 to 3 years into his presidency. He talks of what he has learned through this unique and once in a lifetime experience and how he has personally changed and become a better man by it. President Obama comes off as the down to earth fatherly figure that we know and love, and I'm not sure if this was intentional but Reggie came off as a cocky self involved whiner. POTUS had to put up with some Reggie Love was President Obama's Personal Aide or bodyman from the time he announced his candidacy in 2007 to 3 years into his presidency. He talks of what he has learned through this unique and once in a lifetime experience and how he has personally changed and become a better man by it. President Obama comes off as the down to earth fatherly figure that we know and love, and I'm not sure if this was intentional but Reggie came off as a cocky self involved whiner. POTUS had to put up with some less that desirable attitudes from him, in the beginning he was less than serious about his responsibilities, a product of being Generation Y I'm sure. Given he was 23 when he started working for Obama, I'm issuing a presidential pardon and hoping that he truly did learn from the experience. The book as just an OK listen. I think Reggie may have picked up some of Obama's staccato speech characteristics through osmosis. The book gets a solid 2 for effort and an extra star for giving me an intimate look at the man behind the nation.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scott Dieterle

    I enjoyed hearing Reggie Love's story going from College athlete at Duke to working in then Senator Obama's office in DC. After getting his foot in the door, Reggie was witness to history. The book not only gives you a glimpse of the more personal side of President Obama, but Reggie's personal story is a great story of a young man maturing and gaining life experience in a way he never imagined for himself.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alex Jones

    Great read and I really enjoy the book. He mostly talk about his personal journey behind campaigns with senator Obama. He also talk about his personal growth and professional development as result of his association with Obama. I get close up look at evolving of Obama who eventually become the president.. Great insights and it help me a lot in term of perspective of what required to be a man and what required to success in America!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Newt Taylor

    There are plenty of heartfelt American success stories out there(Love’s boss being one of them). The uniqueness of this memoir is actually the inside story of a Presidential campaign, so Love missed a golden opportunity to create a 4 star book that hasn’t been told numerous times over. His saving grace is his humbleness(unlike the JD Vance’s of this genre). Throughout, Love acknowledges his good fortune, gives credit where credit is due, and never overestimates his writing skills. Reggie Love There are plenty of heartfelt American success stories out there(Love’s boss being one of them). The uniqueness of this memoir is actually the inside story of a Presidential campaign, so Love missed a golden opportunity to create a 4 star book that hasn’t been told numerous times over. His saving grace is his humbleness(unlike the JD Vance’s of this genre). Throughout, Love acknowledges his good fortune, gives credit where credit is due, and never overestimates his writing skills. Reggie Love aside, Power Forward is recommended for anyone interested in the unbelievable demands of a Presidential campaign, or an affirmation of Obama’s stellar character. Duke basketball fans may enjoy Love’s journey, as well.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Clint

    Relatively brief book CD by former Duke University basketball player-turned-President Obama "body man" details what he calls his maturation as a close associate of the 44th president. The North-Carolina native Love intersperses his childhood and career at Duke with his association with Obama's first presidential campaign and then his three years with the president in the White House. Although his writing is a cliche-ridden puddle and his view of Obama is man to God and nowhere balanced, he Relatively brief book CD by former Duke University basketball player-turned-President Obama "body man" details what he calls his maturation as a close associate of the 44th president. The North-Carolina native Love intersperses his childhood and career at Duke with his association with Obama's first presidential campaign and then his three years with the president in the White House. Although his writing is a cliche-ridden puddle and his view of Obama is man to God and nowhere balanced, he nevertheless spins a few interesting stories about the campaign and some of the inglorious things he had to do as a presidential aide.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Phil Lawless

    Reggie Love was Barrack Obama's body man with the election campaign for a year and then in the White House for three years. Reggie played basketball at Duke and was on one of the championship teams in 2001, one of the reasons I bought the book. Reggie gives a very inside view of the campaign, the incredible amount of work required and how Obama responded to all the pressure. It was a very engaging book. Reggie and Barack became very good friends. Reggie matured in his job and it shows in his own Reggie Love was Barrack Obama's body man with the election campaign for a year and then in the White House for three years. Reggie played basketball at Duke and was on one of the championship teams in 2001, one of the reasons I bought the book. Reggie gives a very inside view of the campaign, the incredible amount of work required and how Obama responded to all the pressure. It was a very engaging book. Reggie and Barack became very good friends. Reggie matured in his job and it shows in his own critiques of his life.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emily Antoszyk

    Memoir by Reggie Love - assistant to Obama as he made the transition from senator to POTUS. Reggie is from Charlotte, went to Duke, and fell into a position with Obama as his porter, confidant, basketball opponent, and friend. I wished there was more about his time with Obama, most of the chapters talk about his time with Obama in relation to lessons he learned playing college football and basketball at Duke. The story was OK, but the writing was unimpressive.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn

    Love's lessons learned in his life playing sports and working as a bodyman (personal assistant) to Senator Obama and President Obama. I wish there had been more insider stories, but the lessons learned were interesting too and powerful at times.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nkj Fletcher

    I essentially like this book for all the same reasons others gave four stars. It was a quick and easy read. I personally found several aspects of his youth relatable. Finally I really appreciated his unique insight into President Obama the person.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I would say a solid 3.5 stars. There were some good things to take away from the book, and I appreciated it being read by the author. That added a lot of nuance to the stories that would have been missed if read by someone else.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mike Smith

    Great story of the start of the Obama presidency from his body man

  16. 5 out of 5

    pati

    A perfect example of Bildungsroman; I enjoyed the narrative, a very quick read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gordon Kwok

    A great book and thoroughly enjoyable from one of President Obama's aides and gives an inside look of what it was like to serve President Obama from keeping him company to knowing what kind of snacks he likes.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I received a copy of this book as part of GoodReads' First Reads program in exchange for an honest review. And honestly – I loved this book! Reggie Love tells his story not in linear fashion but in "lessons learned" chapters with titles like "Don't Get Too Comfortable on the Bench" and "You Can't Buy Momentum." Each chapter ends with him gaining new wisdom and maturity, but the focus is as much on his parents, coaches, and other mentors who have helped him – including I received a copy of this book as part of GoodReads' First Reads program in exchange for an honest review. And honestly – I loved this book! Reggie Love tells his story not in linear fashion but in "lessons learned" chapters with titles like "Don't Get Too Comfortable on the Bench" and "You Can't Buy Momentum." Each chapter ends with him gaining new wisdom and maturity, but the focus is as much on his parents, coaches, and other mentors who have helped him – including Senator-turned-candidate-turned-President Barack Obama – as it is on himself. That graciousness, and the humility with which he owns all his mistakes and then overcomes them, makes Love an enjoyable narrator to spend time with. This is a smart young man who, like all youths, had to grow into his potential, and is keenly aware that he might have squandered it if those around him hadn’t cared enough to set high expectations and then alternately encourage him and kick his butt until he gained enough maturity and self-awareness to do so himself. Love’s relationship with President Obama is the context within which he tells his overall story, but the book is less about the specifics of that relationship than I had expected. While it’s clear that the two men became friends over time, in the book Obama appears more as the leader of a team and as an exemplar of passion, integrity, and character for Love to learn from than as a buddy. However there are enough personal anecdotes from that relationship, from their first days in the Senator’s office through the campaign trail and into the White House, to get some vivid insights into the man behind the public figure. In the last few chapter, the President’s aide has matured to the point that he himself becomes a mentor to a fourteen year old boy (through Capital Partners for Education) and chooses to leave his White House job in order to focus on his continuing education – although it is clear that he continues to be one of the President’s friends, someone who still plays basketball with him and exchanges personal notes. I think this would be a great book for almost any young person to read to get an idea of both the challenges and the possibilities of growing up and being a successful human being. Love’s focus is on character, not resumes or income (although it’s clear that he’s not going to have any trouble with the latter), persistence, sense of humor, and personal responsibility. I’m 50 years old, and I found myself inspired to push my perceived limits and tackle the challenges of my life with more enthusiasm.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Larkin Tackett

    This book was an easy read with simple and purposeful writing. Love's autobiography is about family, politics, and sports, with underlying themes of race, effort, and character. Having spent a few years in politics and campaigns myself at the beginning of my own career, this is a coming-of-age story with which--despite Love's race and athletic prowess--I could identify.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Makai Freeman

    In the book Power Forward: My Presidential by Reggie love was a very good book to read because of what you learn from it. Reggie Love had done a lot when he was going to college and from going to college.He was a big that liked to do more than one sport at school. To me the sports that he was doing at the time are the sports that work you out the most. As he chose to go to Duke University and play football at one time and then played basketball when the season came around. I would recommend this In the book Power Forward: My Presidential by Reggie love was a very good book to read because of what you learn from it. Reggie Love had done a lot when he was going to college and from going to college.He was a big that liked to do more than one sport at school. To me the sports that he was doing at the time are the sports that work you out the most. As he chose to go to Duke University and play football at one time and then played basketball when the season came around. I would recommend this book that want to learn about Reggie and how he became to work for Barack Obama. I say that because there are a lot of things that Reggie had done to get where he is now and it is not easy if that's what you think. After reading this book you learn a lot of life lessons that you can learn from, such as learning when to gain someone's trust. As Reggie began to gain Obama's trust he learns a lot from him and also lets Barack Obama know that he is there to protect him and make sure he is okay. Another thing is that he realized that they had some things in common such as basketball and other sports. In conclusion Reggie lets the new and first black President of the United States know that he has his back and is there to help him. For instance when Reggie was playing for Duke there was a lot of life lessons that he learned from Coach K and that was don't take life for granite. He says that because he has the opportunity to play on that team when a lot of people can not and to cherish what you have. Finally I learned that you can always make friends or meet people that will help you get where you want to be and make sure that you connected with the right people. That is why I chose to read this book and why I would recommend this book to others so they can learn about others life lessons.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brad Revell

    Many years ago I had a dream job of being the President of the United States of America's (POTUS) body man. Essentially this is the role where you would be at the President's side for the majority of the day (think at least 4 years here) handling many different situations such as logistics, people's names, carrying luggage, appointments, liaising with the secret service, making sure POTUS has clothes and gets fed on the road etc. Although not the most visible and glamorous roles that one could Many years ago I had a dream job of being the President of the United States of America's (POTUS) body man. Essentially this is the role where you would be at the President's side for the majority of the day (think at least 4 years here) handling many different situations such as logistics, people's names, carrying luggage, appointments, liaising with the secret service, making sure POTUS has clothes and gets fed on the road etc. Although not the most visible and glamorous roles that one could do in the government, it would provide you with insight into one of the most powerful leaders in the world. Furthermore you would get exposure to people and places that the normal person would never experience. After seeing this book released by Reggie it went to the top of my reading list; especially considering he is a basketball fan and leveraged the sport as a theme for his chapters. Although not the most well written book it provides insight into his role as the body man for Barack Obama, both as a senator and as president. He has many anecdotes which are funny and real along with advice on the mistakes he has made along the way. If you're a fan of Obama or basketball and want some more insight into the role of the body man then I would recommend you take a read it this! Three key takeaways from the book 1. Reggie referred to his job description when in Iowa as: is a full-time personal assistant who is one step behind the candidate/president however has to think three steps ahead on a typical 18 hour day. I'd still do the job! 2. Success is where preparation meets opportunity. 3. Always own up for mistakes you make, the earlier the better. Learn from it and move on. Simple advice but always worthwhile heeding it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Denny

    Reggie Love was President Obama's bodyman during the 2008 campaign and after Obama entered office, which means he was responsible for handling the candidate-then-president's meals, wardrobe, wake-ups, workouts, phone calls, and all kinds of other minute details. So Love has probably seen and heard some really fascinating and crazy things in his time at the president's right arm. Unfortunately, it seems like Love is holding most of those stories close to his vest for now, and what we get are a Reggie Love was President Obama's bodyman during the 2008 campaign and after Obama entered office, which means he was responsible for handling the candidate-then-president's meals, wardrobe, wake-ups, workouts, phone calls, and all kinds of other minute details. So Love has probably seen and heard some really fascinating and crazy things in his time at the president's right arm. Unfortunately, it seems like Love is holding most of those stories close to his vest for now, and what we get are a collection of the times that the author learned a particularly poignant life lesson from either Obama, another staffer, or his parents. Love also tries to blend in his experiences as a top NCAA basketball player and NFL-tryout to how those roles helped him navigate working on the campaign trail--comparisons that don't always seem to fit. In all, we hear very little about life in the White House. Most of the book is devoted to the campaign, which is far more gruelling (and a better underdog story) then what became a comparatively cushy West Wing job. That's not to say this book wasn't interesting--and maybe it's too much to expect a deep, revealing analysis or probing insight from one of Obama's most trusted employees and friends. Even what little we hear from Obama is interesting, if only to see examples of his sense of humor, the times he was annoyed or angry (most often, over a poor food choice) or exhausted, or the times that he managed to finesse a conflict that might sink another politician.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Quinn Mickens

    I very much enjoyed reading this book. It was interesting, insightful, and motivational. Reggie Love was a Duke University basketball player in 2001 when they won the National Championship. He then went to Washington to join the staff of at the time Junior Senator Barack Obama. Love would go on to work for Obama for his entire first presidential campaign and first term in office. Love served Obama as his body man. This was a position that required Love to always be at Obama's side and sometimes I very much enjoyed reading this book. It was interesting, insightful, and motivational. Reggie Love was a Duke University basketball player in 2001 when they won the National Championship. He then went to Washington to join the staff of at the time Junior Senator Barack Obama. Love would go on to work for Obama for his entire first presidential campaign and first term in office. Love served Obama as his body man. This was a position that required Love to always be at Obama's side and sometimes what could be an 18 hour work day. To sum up his position as a presidential body man Love wrote “I was his DJ, his Kindle, his travel agent, his valet, his daughters’ basketball coach, his messenger, his punching bag, his alarm clock, his vending machine, his chief of stuff, his note passer, his spades partner, his party planner, his workout partner, his caterer, his small forward, his buffer, his gatekeeper, his surrogate son, and ultimately, his friend.” This was not very much of a political piece though. It was rare for Love to give any political analysis or information. I believe Love's whole purpose of writing this was to show President Obama from a very personal point of view. Love also gave some detail about his own life. He recalls a time when Obama walked in to Love's hotel room when there was an overnight guest present with the sheets pulled over up to her neck. Overall, this was a very good book to read and would recommend it to anyone that likes Barack Obama and wants to see what it is like working for a presidential staff.

  24. 4 out of 5

    John Schumacher

    The premise of this book is something I was all about. A former Duke basketball player turned Washington intern gets the opportunity of a lifetime by becoming President Obama's bodyman. Wow. The amount of things this guy has seen, heard, and done... I can't imagine. Still. After reading this book. I still can't imagine, because I didn't get much. I wanted to juice. I wanted to know things about President Obama that few people do. What I read was a very surface-level tale of Love's journey and The premise of this book is something I was all about. A former Duke basketball player turned Washington intern gets the opportunity of a lifetime by becoming President Obama's bodyman. Wow. The amount of things this guy has seen, heard, and done... I can't imagine. Still. After reading this book. I still can't imagine, because I didn't get much. I wanted to juice. I wanted to know things about President Obama that few people do. What I read was a very surface-level tale of Love's journey and interactions with the president. I know the president likes to play basketball. I know he cares about his family. I wanted more. Maybe my expectations were too high, but a guy with this sort of proximity to the most powerful man on the planet (and one of the coolest) should have more to offer, right? And the sports analogies. A few sprinkled throughout the book, but they are how Love closed EVERY CHAPTER. We get it. When you're in politics, you have to play for a team. You sometimes aren't the star, but you have to be the man who hustles and assists the all star. You have to take the open shot when it's presented to you. EVERY CHAPTER, ad nauseum. It was enough to take me out of the story completely.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vivek

    I'd highly recommend this book for high school or college students who are interested in working in politics (on a campaign, on The Hill). Reggie Love started at the bottom and worked his way up, and he is genuine and humble about the lessons he learned. The book is mostly about the personal & professional development of Reggie Love, with many of the stories taking place before he met Barack Obama (a lot of time spent on different aspects of Reggie's life at Duke). There are some anecdotes I'd highly recommend this book for high school or college students who are interested in working in politics (on a campaign, on The Hill). Reggie Love started at the bottom and worked his way up, and he is genuine and humble about the lessons he learned. The book is mostly about the personal & professional development of Reggie Love, with many of the stories taking place before he met Barack Obama (a lot of time spent on different aspects of Reggie's life at Duke). There are some anecdotes about Obama of course, but he is not the focus of the book. While there are a good amount of stories about Reggie's life on the campaign, anecdotes about life once Obama became President felt rare (chronologically, only the last 50 pages or so deal with Reggie's job in the White House). As a political junkie, and someone who has spent plenty of time traveling and staffing political candidates, I enjoyed the book. But for people who are really familiar with campaigns or politics in general, there's not a lot of new ground covered here: most of that is about Love himself. 3.5 stars.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marty

    I decided to read that book of President Obama’s personal assistant because I understood he was not a Washington insider, he held no aspirations to be in politics and he was by happenstance, present to one of the greatest moments in history the world has ever seen. This novel provided an honest critique of the author's life and experiences, as a baseball and football player, college scholarship awardee to Duke University and personal assistant to Senator Barack Obama and later President Obama. I decided to read that book of President Obama’s personal assistant because I understood he was not a Washington insider, he held no aspirations to be in politics and he was by happenstance, present to one of the greatest moments in history the world has ever seen. This novel provided an honest critique of the author's life and experiences, as a baseball and football player, college scholarship awardee to Duke University and personal assistant to Senator Barack Obama and later President Obama. The use sports metaphors and analogies throughout the book provided a guide to how ones life is changed with education, determination, and great mentors within the lives of individuals. I was impressed with the author's wisdom and learning he gained along with the perspective and experiences while explaining the details of his early childhood and growth into manhood. The lessons he drew from his mistakes to the wisdom he is passing on as a mentor to African-American young men. The book I believe should be apart of the mentorship reading list for children above the age of thirteen.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    What an interesting coming of age story and unique perspective Reggie Love offers in this entertaining and thought provoking memoir. From his vantage point as Senator-and-then-President Obama's personal aide from 2007 to 2011, Reggie was witness to historic moments in a way few others were, and really gives us an inside/backstage glimpse at what it was like to be at Obama's side. He also shares insights from his time at Duke University, where he was a basketball player (and team captain) for What an interesting coming of age story and unique perspective Reggie Love offers in this entertaining and thought provoking memoir. From his vantage point as Senator-and-then-President Obama's personal aide from 2007 to 2011, Reggie was witness to historic moments in a way few others were, and really gives us an inside/backstage glimpse at what it was like to be at Obama's side. He also shares insights from his time at Duke University, where he was a basketball player (and team captain) for Coach K, and foundational lessons learned from his close-knit family in North Carolina. I really enjoyed this book -- and as a former basketball player, I especially enjoyed how many of the lessons learned were related to principles taught on the court. A couple of my favorites: the little things are often big things in disguise; and character is the only real currency.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wellington

    In another book there was a mention of Obama's "body man" named Reggie. In my mind, I pictured a brilliant nerd who was Obama's personal Google search engine. So when I just happen to walk through the biographical section and this book was on full display, I grabbed it. It was OK. Reggie does not broach into the the world of gossip or drama. He paints a very respectful, loving picture of Obama. There were some small insights into Obama's personality and sense of humor that I found the most In another book there was a mention of Obama's "body man" named Reggie. In my mind, I pictured a brilliant nerd who was Obama's personal Google search engine. So when I just happen to walk through the biographical section and this book was on full display, I grabbed it. It was OK. Reggie does not broach into the the world of gossip or drama. He paints a very respectful, loving picture of Obama. There were some small insights into Obama's personality and sense of humor that I found the most entertaining. Overall I found this a really well polished book that doesn't push boundaries that has an almost network television (more 80's) positive squeaky clean feel to it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    Didn't go far enough behind the scenes for me and was a little too heavy on Reggie's football and basketball passions. Reggie says he knows that people are interested in his story because of his job as Obama's assistant, but he still spends a bit too much time on himself. I read the book for an insider's view of Obama. Reggie did tell some great stories about his time with Obama, I just wish there had been more. But what did come through loud and clear was Obama's character. He truly is a Didn't go far enough behind the scenes for me and was a little too heavy on Reggie's football and basketball passions. Reggie says he knows that people are interested in his story because of his job as Obama's assistant, but he still spends a bit too much time on himself. I read the book for an insider's view of Obama. Reggie did tell some great stories about his time with Obama, I just wish there had been more. But what did come through loud and clear was Obama's character. He truly is a questioning, passionate, intelligent, sincere man who truly wants to uplift the 99%. Healthcare reform was critical for him because his mom had cancer. The book is an easy, short read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennymarie Jemison

    You can read this book in a few hours. It's designed to impart wisdom in little Reggie nuggets that each chapter condenses to- but I wanted a little more meat in there. Some sauce. It's not in-depth, and mostly Reggie Love reveals that he arrived to his intimate role in proximity to American history almost despite himself. I loved the intimate moments with President Obama (he doesn't like mayo!), but mostly I was often amazed that Reggie got to keep his job. It's a fast read, and I found it You can read this book in a few hours. It's designed to impart wisdom in little Reggie nuggets that each chapter condenses to- but I wanted a little more meat in there. Some sauce. It's not in-depth, and mostly Reggie Love reveals that he arrived to his intimate role in proximity to American history almost despite himself. I loved the intimate moments with President Obama (he doesn't like mayo!), but mostly I was often amazed that Reggie got to keep his job. It's a fast read, and I found it interesting, if not motivating the way the author obviously finds his story to be. Worth the price though just to learn that Obama loves Tony Parker. Go Spurs Go!

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