Kerry Eleveld reports that there’s a meeting today at the White House between senior administration officials and gay groups to talk DADT strategy:
“The White House is meeting with several interested parties to discuss the legislative repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ The meeting will concern the work that remains to be done to ensure Congressional action on this issue this year,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The official did not name any participants of the meeting, but sources tell The Advocate that senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett and deputy chief of staff Jim Messina are expected to be present.
Two key points from Kerry’s article: First, the White House source said the meeting will focus on the legislative strategy for this year. That means lame duck and the prospects don’t look good. If they’re serious, they need to talk about the legal strategy, too. Second, the WH officials attending are Valerie Jarrett and Jim Messina. In the past, Messina has spearheaded the WH DADT strategy — and we’ve all seen how that’s gone. They’ve lost control of the issue.
Let’s hope the “interested parties” at the meeting stand firm this time and demand real action from the White House. We can expect that from the Servicemember groups (SLDN and Servicemembers United). HRC and CAP’s Winnie Stachelberg do whatever the White House wants. If they stood up to Messina at that DADT meeting back in February, maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess.
This might not be the most important DADT-related meeting at the White House today. At 4:30 PM ET, Obama is meeting with guy who has been calling the shots on DADT: Secretary Gates.