An informed source on the Hill spells out exactly what it will take to get DADT repealed in these final weeks of the Democratically-controlled Congress. They argue that Reid saying he will bring up the defense bill with DADT included is a good first step, but it’s not enough:
This is a good, real step. But I have no evidence that any muscle will be behind it. I will need to see Reid pushing, mobilizing, leading. He will need to keep votes like Ben Nelson and get votes like Webb and Pryor and Manchin. I have no confidence that any Republican Senator will join us — without Secretary Gates calling them. We lost Burris and perhaps don’t have Manchin, Nelson, Pryor, and Webb. So we need at least five or six Rs to be safe. Impossible to do without Gates — all hinges on Gates and Obama personally lobbying — or without Reid leading Dems on the Floor in a public shaming.
For those who, in the past, thought that it was enough for the President, or a member of Congress, to simply state publicly that they desired a certain policy outcome, this is what a President, or Senate Majority Leader, does when they ACTUALLY want to win something. They don’t just put out a statement. They actually work it, hard, behind the scenes (in addition to publicly), with lots of personal lobbying.