A ‘last ditch effort’ from the White House to pass the DADT language?

Would that someone from the White House engaged a couple weeks ago, before we lost the vote last Tuesday. But, no one could tell those geniuses how to do anything. Now, they’re either scrambling — or want us to think they’re scrambling just to save face. Kerry Eleveld has the scoop:

The White House may make one last ditch effort this year to push through the Defense authorization bill that houses a “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal measure during the period following the midterms.

White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina met Monday evening with the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Carl Levin, to discuss moving the National Defense Authorization Act before the 111th Congress adjourns for the year.

“For the nearly hour-long meeting, a core portion of the discussion was the NDAA and ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and bringing them up during lame duck,” said a source familiar with the meeting.

A spokesperson for Sen. Levin, however, would not confirm the meeting.

The White House is beating back criticism for not being more engaged during last week’s unsuccessful vote to advance the legislation before Congress recessed for the midterm elections.

That criticism is warranted. The President did nothing to pass the Defense bill which included the DADT compromise (instead of phoning Senators to build support for the bill hours before the vote, the President spent his day phoning the WNBA champions). He spent more time yelling at us for griping, groaning and whining than he did actually trying to help us keep his own promise.

Anytime I see Jim Messina’s name associated with anything, I cringe. He’s been the “mastermind” behind the White House DADT strategy from the beginning. That strategy has been a disaster. And, don’t forget, he’s going to be the campaign manager for the President’s reelection campaign.

Kerry also reports that the Speaker seems to think the President is going to take some action:

House speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged the administration’s predicament last night following an event where she received an award from the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund for her work on LGBT issues. During her speech, Pelosi reiterated her pledge to an adoring crowd that “’don’t ask, don’t tell’ would “be gone by the end of the year.”

“That will happen with or without Congress,” she later told The Advocate. “We wanted to sort of put our imprimatur on it, but I don’t think it has to depend on whether it passes the Senate. The process will work its way through and the president will make his pronouncement on it.”

Pelosi said that the DADT measure passed by the House and approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee ultimately left the authority to end the ban with the executive branch, noting it was “contingent” upon approval from the president, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Asked if she would call on the president to issue a stop-loss or executive order to end the discharges, Pelosi said, “I think that is the unfolding that we will see. I myself, I’m pleased with the course that the president is on, but I think that we shouldn’t be discharging people until that happens.”

I myself, I am not pleased with the course that the president is on. I don’t see him on any course at all. I hope I’m wrong, but, unfortunately, we haven’t been wrong so far.


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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