Reggie Love’s Words of Encouragement for Obama

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Photo: Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images

"Nothing’s more fun than working in the White House. Every day I miss it." That straight-outta-the-West-Wing sentiment came from the smiling mouth of current Wharton MBA candidate, onetime Obama body man, and all-time Daily Intel person of interest Reggie Love. The nostalgia seems to cut both ways; Obama still hasn't found a replacement to fill Love's role at the White House.

"I miss my comrades! The guys like Marvin [Nicholson], the president, Robert Gibbs, David Axelrod," he continued, pausing briefly to call out "hi, beautiful!" to Alan Krueger's wife, and to make dinner plans with her husband in the corner of a room at a pre-Correspondents' Dinner brunch yesterday. "I grew up working with those guys and spent a lot of time with them, and ultimately, in sports, your teammates are what make the journeys really exciting and really fun." Sports? Weren't we talking about work? But maybe that framework is exactly why Love found the famously stressful workplace so fun. Either way, we seized the chance to ask him whether Obama really ever beats the former Duke player on the basketball court, per a highly suspicious campaign e-mail sent a few months back.

Love didn't sound as if he'd been fully filled in on the Obama-beats-Reggie propaganda. (There were, in fact, two versions of the e-mail floating around; the second was revised to downplay Obama's basketball skills a bit.) He laid the matchup out for us, very diplomatically. "The president’s 20 years older than me. Twenty is a lot! He’s a really good player. I don’t know." Love paused to consider the odds. "Would I beat him 100 percent of the time? Probably not. But I hope and I think in a one-on-one game, I would probably beat him." The blow perhaps seemed a little harsh. He added, "But in horse, we split!"

What about those YouTube videos making the rounds of Obama bricking three pointers? Love knew exactly what we meant. "At the Easter Egg Roll." Yeah, those. "I mean … they weren’t BAD misses. Everyone knows even a great shooter has an off day and they tell you a great shooter has to shoot himself out of a slump. You can’t stop shooting just 'cause you missed one!" We weren't sure, again, if we were talking about sports or governing.

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