Obama's 20-Something Staffers Wind Down With Softball And Beer Pong, Like Every Other 20-Something

Our basketball-crazed President is something of a health freak, apparently, so it makes sense that his young staffers are physique-obsessed, too. They go to the gym, play pickup basketball, field a softball team and play beer pong with David Axelrod.

"An undercurrent of personal fitness runs throughout" the White House's youngest staffers, writes Ashley Parker in this week's New York Times Magazine, and it takes the form of everyone else's recreational pursuits. They go to the gym, sans BlackBerry for the only time all day, before coming to work in the morning. (If they're late to the office? Well, that's an excuse that Obama tolerates.) They play three unofficial pickup games a week. And then, of course, they field a softball team in what I can only assume is a beer league. The team is called Stotus — of course it is — and their rivals include the Democratic National Committee.

Hey, speaking of beer: it's the great unifying force between staffers young and old:


President Obama's young staff and their senior counterparts mix seamlessly and often sweetly. During the primaries, Axelrod once dropped by a party at the Pad - a group house in Chicago where seven campaign staff members lived, worked and played the video game Rock Band. The rumpled, over-50 "Axe," as nearly everyone calls him, impressed the crowd by playing a game of beer pong.

Then they engaged in some survivor flipcup, moved onto 21 and honeycomb, crushed a power hour, endured through another one, slowed down with quarters, amped it up with Kings, ripped three shots, called a cab for a lift to the local danceclub and, after groovin' the night away, demolished a deep-dish pizza or five. Three hours later, they all stumbled into the gym, without their phones — this time, casualties of a typical Tuesday night.

All The Obama 20-Somethings [NYT Magazine]