Obama now says he didn’t campaign on public option. Did he not campaign on the repeal of DOMA and DADT either?

This has been a rough year for those of us who expected President Obama to follow through on his campaign promises. John wrote a post today about Obama’s statement yesterday that he didn’t campaign for the public option. He did. There’s a lot of evidence, starting with Obama’s own words, that he did campaign for the public option, a lot. But, now that he’s in the White House, and decided to compromise on the public option, that promise is apparently no longer operative. I actually heard Obama make a commitment to push for the public option on a conference call with bloggers in July.

This got me wondering: What other promises did Obama make during the campaign that may no longer be operative? I worry that the repeal of both Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) may fall into that category. The President has actually been going out of his way to enforce both laws, even defending them in court, much to the chagrin of the LGBT community and our allies. On DADT, the White House long ago switched their promise from “repealing” DADT to “changing it in a sensible manner.” And on DOMA, we’re being told that no one wants to even touch it during Obama’s first term. (And if you don’t touch it, the chances of repealing it are never going to get better.)

We’ll find out in a few weeks if the President is going to push for the repeal of DADT. If it’s not in his budget, due the first week of February, that will be a big signal of what lies ahead in 2010.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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