Eleveld grilled Gibbs on DADT. Got vow that Obama will be ‘actively involved’ in lame duck

Yesterday, at the White House press briefing, Robert Gibbs got a number of questions about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He kept reiterating the standard talking points, but wouldn’t say whether the President, a constitutional law scholar, thinks DADT is unconstitutional.

Kerry Eleveld grilled Gibbs:

Those last questions are important. Gibbs actually stated, “I just said that he would be actively involved in that. If that, Kerry, involves talking to senators, absolutely. Does that involve staff here talking to the staff of senators? Absolutely.” Of course, we don’t know how the White House defines “actively involved.”

Gibbs seemed surprised that anyone would question whether the President would engage in lobbying of the Defense bill, which includes the DADT language. Most know Obama didn’t do a thing to help pass that bill in September — nor did his staff. He didn’t call one Senator. And, don’t forget, while Obama didn’t call any wavering Senators when the GOPers were filibustering the Defense bill, he did manage to call the WNBA Champs. For more background on the lack of effort by the White House on DADT, read this account by Nick Baumann and David Corn.

If the DADT language doesn’t pass in the lame duck session, it could be years before we get another opportunity. Years.

Maybe Robert Gates will allow the White House to push for passage of the Defense bill in the lame duck session. Gates is calling the shots here, not his boss.


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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