When President Barack Obama (pictured, center) entered the Austin Music Hall July 17 to give a speech for a campaign fundraiser, he saw a pigtailed toddler wearing a blue dress and carrying fruit snacks. It was Maylin DeRose (pictured, right), the 2-year-old daughter of Austin lawyers Zeke DeRose III and Melonie Montford DeRose (pictured, left), who had donated money to the campaign for the privilege of being backstage for the president’s arrival.
“The president walked in, and everyone was going crazy. . . . She was there, and he immediately went over to her and bent down and said, ‘Hey, sweetie, are you lost?’ ” says Zeke DeRose, associate with Vinson & Elkins in Austin. Feeling shy, the girl retreated to her mother.
“My wife said, ‘Do you have something to tell the president?’ She said, " ‘Yes, we can,’ " recalls Zeke DeRose. After reciting Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan, Maylin gave Obama a “fist bump.”
“Everyone, of course, was taking pictures of the president and the girl with the pigtails. . . . People we don’t even know were in tears,” he says.
Melonie Montford DeRose, an associate with Baker Botts in Austin, adds in an email that Maylin “has been talking about it all morning!” (Photo credit: Laura Hernandez.)
-- Angela Morris