But we’d not yet heard how it all began.
A new memoir by President Obama’s personal aide de camp, “bodyman” Reggie Love, details the then-Sen. Obama’s first meeting with Beyonc and Jay-Z. It was Sept. 27, 2007, during the primary race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, and the “hip-hop royalty” duo sat down with Obama and Love in the restaurant of New York’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
As Love writes in Power Forward: My Presidential Education, Beyoncé was then coming off a concert tour in which Obama and his daughters, Sasha and Malia, had caught a show:
Beyoncé admitted her feet were killing her. Obama joked, ‘You have to have a masseuse to massage your feet. That must be in the budget for the tour production.’
And Jay said, ‘Yeah, so long as it isn’t a man.’
I quipped, ‘You’ve seen Pulp Fiction. You never let another man massage your woman’s feet,’ after which Jay burst out laughing.’
And on the subject of feet, Love dishes in his book some other interesting presidential tidbits – like how Obama could get persnickety about his own size-11 dogs.
“The man was particular about his feet. He wouldn t just throw on any old pair of mukluks. They had to look a certain way, feel a certain way. Anytime he couldn t wear his favored dress flats, it was an issue,” Love writes.
Love, who left the White House in 2011 to get his M.B.A. and still remains close to the First Family, also gives a rare glimpse into a side of Obama no one besides Love and handful of 4th-grade girls have gotten to see: Basketball Coach.
Love writes that when Sasha was 9 and playing on her school basketball team, Obama would watch games with a “running commentary to Michelle. After listening to him grumble about the situation, Michelle finally said, ‘Why don’t you teach them how to play?'”
And that’s how the Leader of the Free World became Coach Obama in his off-hours.
Love, as assistant coach, likened the experience to “herding cats; correction – herding giggling cats” and describes Obama as transformed into a mere-mortal parent:
“The powers of the President’s office were useless, but he had all the powers of an engaged and interested parent. He would see me getting frustrated and he would interject himself, telling the girls firmly, ‘This is not a slumber party. You have to run hard, throw the ball hard, stand tall and be strong. You have to listen to your coach.'”