Obama to Face ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Earlier Than Planned


President Obama has said that he’s in favor of overturning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the policy against gays serving openly in the military — but according to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, he’s too focused on the economy to expend time and political capital on the fight over it just yet. Obama likely wants to avoid the debacle that hamstrung Bill Clinton in his early first term when the policy was instituted in the first place. But it looks like he’s going to have to face the issue — and all the contentious politics and anger that go with it — sooner than he’d probably like. Representative Ellen O. Tauscher plans to introduce a bill to overturn the ban in short order, Politico reports today. According to a Washington Post poll last summer, fully 75 percent of Americans are in favor of gays serving openly. Internally, the military numbers aren’t as high, but the idea has been gaining a lot of ground in recent years. Conservative foes of Obama are likely to use this to create controversy for the new president, but it’s unclear how much traction they’ll get with this tactic: As of last summer, even 64 percent of Republicans were in favor of repealing the ban.

Obama faces test on gay military ban [Politico]