I’m not going to do a lot of talking in this commentary because I want you to hear it straight from my new hero.
Keep in mind, for me to gain a new hero in my forties is a very big deal.
My new hero is Reggie Love.
He’s the former body man to President Obama, which means he’s really a glorified personal assistant, guy Friday, go-to guy.
Love has been dubbed by the press as The President’s Chief of STUFF.
He began working for Mister Obama in 2007 when Mister Obama was a senator and continued on working with him as the President until 2011.
Lemon- “Did you think that you or him would end up in the White House?”
Love- “Ah, man, if you’d have told me when I moved to DC in 2006 that a black guy name Barack Hussein Obama would be President in 2008 I don’t know if I could have said it with a straight face that that would be a very high probability outcome.”
Lemon- “And a black man named Reggie Love would be his body man.”
Love- “Right, right.”
Love says growing up his mother emphasized civil service and civil rights and made him study both while his friends were outside playing basketball and all he wanted to do was hang out with them.
In his new book titled, “Power Forward, My Presidential Education,” Love says he struggled with the fear that he was a cliché’, that (quote) “I was the black guy who was acting white.”
“In the circle of guys that I was really close with you know I spent more time with folks who didn’t look like my group of friends, and you know I got ridiculed for it a bit.”
In spite of that Reggie Love persevered.
He told me last night on my show on CNN that President Obama helped him with that as well.
“We talked about it a bit about race, race in this country about what it means to be an African American man and I think he has a really good understanding of it. People always say is the President black enough or has he done enough for black people specifically but his whole mantra has been I’m going to do things that’s good for the country and that are going to bring along everyone in the country and I think him being there alone I think one gives people the vision and the hope that through hard work and persistence regardless of what you look like where you come from, what your last name is that you can achieve and do anything and it’s a powerful thing to be able to say.”
Lemon- “Some people don’t believe that.”
Love- “I’m sitting here on CNN me and you right now. You kidding me? You and I. It’s pretty amazing. I never thought that a kid from North Carolina who all I grew doing was thinking about maybe I’d get to play a little bit of basketball someplace and have a chance to pull my family up our circumstances. Anything is possible.”
And that’s why Reggie Love is my new hero.
Out of virtually nothing he made himself into something.
He embodies the American story.