The Washington Times - July 16, 2008, 10:30AM

Blake Gottesman, who served as President Bush’s “body man” from 2002 to 2006, is replacing Joe Hagin, a longtime Bush aide and deputy chief of staff for operations.

Mr. Hagin, 52, is leaving the White House at the end of this week to take a private-sector job in Chicago after serving as one of Mr. Bush’s closest aides for the entirety of his presidency (read our story on him here).

Mr. Gottesman, 28, will be responsible for coordinating the movement of the president whenever he leaves the White House grounds, either for events in town or for domestic or international travel.

In his previous position, Mr. Gottesman handled all of the president’s immediate needs: carrying his bag, taking pictures of the president with fans at rope lines, handing him hand sanitizer and trotting just behind him at all times during his official duties.

“Blake is a trusted aide who understands the tremendous challenges of overseeing White House operations,” Mr. Bush said in a statement. “He is well-respected in the White House and will do an outstanding job helping to ensure that the staff continues to effectively serve the American people throughout the remainder of the president’s administration.”

Mr. Gottesman’s father, Sanford L. Gottesman, is a prominent Texas real estate developer and longtime friend of the Bush family.

In addition, when Mr. Gottesman was in high school, he dated the president’s daughter, the former Jenna Bush, who was married to Henry Hager this summer.  

After leaving the White House in 2006, Mr. Gottesman was admitted to Harvard Business School despite the fact that he had completed only one semester of undergraduate studies prior to his time at the White House.

The personnel move has a certain symmetry for the Bush family. Mr. Hagin, whom Mr. Gottesman is replacing, served as “body man” to President George H.W. Bush when he was vice president.