Following today’s conclusion of the Joint Chiefs’ testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the White House hosted an off-the-record meeting with members of various DADT pro-repeal groups. Chris Geidner reports at Metro Weekly that today’s was the largest of several such recent meetings.
Two people who attended the meeting but asked to remain anonymous because of the off-the-record nature of the meeting told Metro Weekly that those organizations that were represented included Center for American Progress, Human Rights Campaign, Log Cabin Republicans, National Black Justice Coalition, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, OutServe, People for the American Way, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Servicemembers United, Stonewall Democrats and Third Way. [Politico’s Josh Gerstein, who first reported the news, also reported that representatives from OutServe and the Palm Center attended the meeting, a fact confimed to Metro Weekly by a third attendee.] As such, it would make it the largest of several such White House meetings held about DADT repeal this year. The two attendees of the meeting said that the White House was represented at the meeting by Christopher Kang, White House legislative affairs; Christina Tchen, director of the public engagement office; Brian Bond, deputy director of public engagement; and representatives from the Domestic Policy Council and White House Counsel’s Office.
According to Metro Weekly, White House representatives expressed optimism that a Senate vote on DADT will take place before the end of the year. One attendee reported that the meeting did not feel like pandering: “I know it wasn’t. I’ve been mollified before, and this wasn’t mollification.”