Sure, the most famous image from the day Osama bin Laden died was taken in the Situation Room, with President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden’s pursed faces clearly in view. But former Obama “body man” Reggie Love painted another picture from that day, too.
“Most people were like down in the Situation Room and [President Obama] was like, ‘I’m not going to be down there, I can’t watch this entire thing,’” Love recalled.
So the POTUS, Love, White House photographer Pete Souza and staffer Marvin Nicholson holed up in the nearby private dining room and played cards. “We must have played 15 games of spades,” Love said.
Love told stories from his White House days (he left in 2011) at an event held in Los Angeles last month, hosted by the D.C.-based Artists & Athletes Alliance. The talk attracted 175 or so members of the Hollywood community including “True Blood’s” Mehcad Brooks, “CSI: Miami’s” Omar Benson Miller and “Lost’s” William Mapother. Additionally, actor and maybe-someday-politician Ben Affleck stopped by beforehand to say hello to Love. The video of Love’s remarks hit the web this week.
The president’s personal aide also recalled how Obama originally wanted to treat the birth certificate issue. “I remember when he finally found his birth certificate,” Love said. “It took a little too long, by the way,” inserted Jim Newton, the UCLA senior fellow and Los Angeles Times journalist who was conducting the interview. “Hey, your parents don’t live together and you travel all over the world–documents get lost,” Love rebutted.
Anyways, if the president had his druthers, the birth certificate rollout would have been much more dramatic. “And so he wanted to just have an impromptu press conference and just walk into the press briefing room of the White House and just put his birth certificate out on the podium and everyone was like, ‘that’s a really bad idea,’” Love said. “But he was like very gung-ho about doing it because he was so irritated about it.”
UPDATE: The video of Love’s interview was removed from the Internet.