The HillTube

Obama gives unexpected 'sign' to supporter at event

President Obama gave one supporter a sign he won't soon forget.

The president responded in sign language to a 26-year-old Prince George’s Community College student, named Stephon, at an event in Maryland last week.

As Obama was working the crowd after delivering a speech on his plans for energy independence, when the student took his chance to speak to Obama and said "I'm proud of you," in American Sign Language, reported Distriction, a D.C. media and politics blog.

The president then signed back, "thank you." The commander in chief even responded to the conversation with Stephon in a Tweet.


Stephon, who was born deaf, shared his experience of speaking with Obama in a video uploaded to YouTube after the interaction, telling viewers he was "impressed" with the president.

"The moment I will never forget was when he looked at me. He gave me a chance to talk to him. It was like he was waiting for me to say something. I took the moment and signed “I am proud of you,” and his response was “Thank u” in sign language back! Oh my gosh! I was like wow! He understood me after I said I was proud of him. It was so amazing … I was just speechless," says Stephon in the video, translation courtesy of Distriction.

The D.C.-focused blog also points out that the president isn't the only Obama with sign language skills. Michelle Obama appears in this video with what seems to be a much more extensive vocabulary than her husband.