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Meet the man in charge of Obama's iPod

By Sima Kotecha
Newsbeat US reporter

Barack Obama and Reggie Yates

Reggie Love's title is personal aide to the President of the United States but he's often called the 'Body Man'.

One of his jobs is to update Barack Obama's iPod. Other duties include playing basketball with the Commander-in-Chief, and keeping a close eye on his diet.

The role of the 'Body Man' was dramatised in the American TV series West Wing where Charlie Young, played by Dule Hill, was never far from fictional President Josiah Bartlett.

But President Obama has another name for Reggie's job - White House chief of stuff.

I'm an extra set of hands if he ever needs it. Anything I can help with to make his life easier is part of my job
Reggie Love explains what he does for Barack Obama
You might have seen Reggie. He's the 6ft 5in, 18 stone, shaven headed guy who's usually walking beside or behind Barack Obama.

His job? To attend to all of the President's personal needs.

In his bag which he sometimes slings over his shoulder, he carries a load of everyday things for the boss including a toothbrush, mouthwash, tissues, snacks - and of course, the iPod.

It's likely those snacks include some of the President's favourites: peanuts, raisins, and chocolate roasted peanut bars.

Not to forget the chewing and nicotine gum. After all, Barack Obama used to smoke.

Reggie said: "I'm an extra set of hands if he ever needs it. Anything I can help with to make his life easier is part of my job."

Fast rise

The 26-year-old began working for Barack Obama a couple of years ago.

After getting his degree in political science and public policy, he landed a job in the then senator's Washington DC post room, where he made less than 20,000 a year.

Within 12 months, Reggie got promoted to personal aide and found himself travelling across America on the campaign trail with the future president.

Reggie Love
Reggie Love has travelled around the US with Barack Obama
That earned him a pay rise too. He's said to be on 75k for his 18-hour day, which starts at dawn with a workout with Obama.

And Reggie's not one to mess with in the gym. He can bench press 350lbs (158kg).

He even used to play basketball and American football at a high university level.

Barack Obama's described the fitness guru as "the best athlete I know".

The two men may be 20 years apart in age but their love for basketball has brought them closer together.

During the primaries, they hit the court on the day of an election for good luck.

It became a strict ritual and when they didn't play, they ended up losing the primary like in New Hampshire and Nevada.

They apparently never talk about politics but sometimes sit on the couch and watch late night sports TV.

Reggie even has tattoos along the inside of his arms in honour of his boss and the Democratic party which say, My Word, My Bond, My Boyz, My Blood.

'Mentally gruelling'

President Obama reckons Reggie's more than a personal assistant.

He said: "I'll keep him as long as I can. He's like a real buddy to me."

Last week, when President Obama walked into the Oval Office for the first time as leader of the nation, Reggie was photographed standing by his side.

But even though some may see Reggie's job as glamorous, he's said it's mentally gruelling.

Barack Obama told reporters: "There are times he will take a pillow into the hall and sleep while he's waiting for me to brush my teeth."

But the PA's enthusiasm and young blood is a good thing. That's what the President says.

He's glad he has someone to keep him up to date with what's hot and what's not in the music scene.

He said: "Probably every morning there is at least one thing I forget in my room that he makes sure to grab.

"I would have lost my iPod a long time ago. I have hipped him to Aretha Franklin and John Coltrane and he in turn has downloaded Jay-Z and Lil Wayne and some of these folks so that I am you know, not a complete fuddy duddy."

As for girlfriends, Reggie's apparently single but he's thought to be one of Washington's most eligible bachelors. It's not hard to see why.



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