Fist Bumps for Equal Rights
The incredibly true story of Obama's Austin fist bump
By Nina Hernandez, 4:00PM, Fri. Jul. 11
When President Barack H. Obama visited Austin yesterday, he set off yet another social media tailspin.
On a visit to Franklin Barbecue, the President of the United States of America encountered Daniel Rugg Webb – comedian, artist, musician (and friend of Gay Place), and part-time Franklin employee – and, of course, sparks flew.
“It was just a lucky day to be the register girl,” says Webb.
The entire restaurant, he says, was prepped in advance of Obama's appearance, and Webb, who laments not being properly attired in his preferred sequin ensemble, knew he had to make some kind of stand.
As the president approached, Webb threw his hand down and slapped the counter dramatically. "Equal rights for gay people!"
"Are you gay?" the president asked.
"That's when he laughed and said, 'Bump me,'" Webb says.
"That's my favorite part because it was cool to get a joke in. In all the photos [all over the Internet], I look like a dead fish, but it was cool. I do stand-up, so it was nice to have some interaction based on, hopefully, something funny."
"If Rick Perry would've walked in, I would have lost my job. I would've taken that old queen to town," Webb adds.
"My mother got to shake hands with Kennedy in Fort Worth that morning he was assassinated, so just for consistency, it was kind of cool to meet with a sitting president. Her picture [is in a] crowd shot in this book called Four Days, so I kind of want to pull the photos next to each other and then wave it in my sister's face."
Though the president received a warm round of applause at Franklin, the photo op wasn't all fist bumps and sweet Texas barbecue. Amy Rattananinad, former Longhorn and Occupy UT organizer, handed the president a sign that read, "Stop Deportations."
“The girl, Amy, who handed him the note, and he, really kind of got into it," Webb recounts. "They had kind of a real conversation, direct. You don’t just get face time with world leaders. I was impressed that he had a serious conversation with somebody in the middle of what would be a photo op.”
The president also caught some flack for cutting the famously long line at Franklin. Webb side-eyes that sentiment, "Logistically, that's a really lazy complaint. I don't think you can safely have a world leader hanging around in a line." Obama reportedly dropped $300 for himself and other patrons.