The Washington Post

The story behind Obama’s fist bump at an Austin barbecue joint

When President Obama stopped for lunch at Franklin Barbecue in Austin on Thursday, he cut the infamously long line and ordered more than $300 worth of barbecue. But he and the man working behind the counter talked about far more than brisket.

When Obama got to the front of the line, Daniel Rugg Webb, the employee who was about to take his order, slammed down his hand on the counter and said, "Equal rights for gay people!" The encounter was reported by the Austin Chronicle.

The president had a question. "Are you gay?" he asked Webb.

"Only when I have sex," Webb replied.

Obama then laughed, according to Webb, put out his fist and said, "Bump me."

President Obama fist bumps the cashier after paying for his order at Franklin Barbecue in Austin. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

"It was just a lucky day to be the register girl," Webb told the alternative weekly. He said he wished he had donned the yellow sequined dress that he sometimes wears to work.

Webb said the fist bump was his favorite part of the day.

"That's my favorite part because it was cool to get a joke in," Webb told the Chronicle. He said that he looked like a "dead fish" in the photos but that he is anything but, performing on the Austin stand-up circuit.

Webb said restaurant employees were told that Obama would be stopping by. Webb said he believes that if Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) had come in, "I would have lost my job. I would've taken that old queen to town."

Webb said Obama had a more heated encounter with a woman who handed him a sign reading, "Stop Deportations."

Webb said Obama and the woman, Amy Rattananinad, a former Occupy organizer at the University of Texas, "really kind of got into it." They then had a conversation.

"You just don't get face time with world leaders," Webb said. "I was impressed that he had a serious conversation with somebody in the middle of what would be a photo-op."


Katie Zezima is a national political correspondent covering the 2016 presidential election. She previously served as a White House correspondent for The Post.

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