From internship to 'body man' for Mitt Romney for Mississippi native

By The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Wherever Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney goes, a 26-year-old from Brookhaven is with him.

Garrett Jackson may be steadying a chair for Romney to speak from or following him with markers ready for autographs.

“What’s great is how low-maintenance he is and easy to work with,” he told The Clarion-Ledger.

As Romney’s personal aide, or “body man,” Jackson has met former president Bill Clinton and prayed with Billy Graham. He’s gone overseas with Romney.

“There are so many incredible moments, I have to keep a journal to just write them down,” he said.

Jackson’s road to Romney started when he was a high school student working as a page for Sen. Thad Cochran. He and a page from Utah became friends. Before his senior year at the University of Mississippi, his friend’s family and a longtime Romney employee showed up at the place Jackson was working.

“He offered me an internship … and I guess they liked me so they offered me a full-time job,” he said. “Then we started traveling with the governor, and when he started doing the book tour, he said, ‘I want Garrett with me.'”

Friends and family say it’s surreal that Jackson is now answering calls from actors, politicians and celebrities and keeping the Republican nominee’s schedule.

“I’ve always had people tell me that they knew he was going to do great things. I would have never expected this this early, but through his whole life even as a young boy, Garrett would set goals for himself and he achieved them,” said his mother, Jennifer Jackson.

“I don’t think he even expected this. Right now, there are only two of these jobs in the world, and he has one.

“Then if he’s lucky enough to be the personal assistant to the president, that’s the only one job like that in the world.”