New Bill Looks to Topple 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Could prove a political headache for Obama
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2009 9:15 AM CST
Barack Obama shakes hands with US troops in this file photo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The controversy that derailed Bill Clinton’s first 100 days is heading for Barack Obama, Politico reports, with a California congresswoman to introduce legislation today to overturn the ban on gays serving openly in the military. Obama has made no secret of his desire to overturn the unpopular “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy Clinton devised, but prefers to focus on the economy.

“Not everything will get done in the beginning,” a White House spokesman warned in January, “but he’s committed to following through.” But gay-rights advocates want Obama to act quickly, rather than playing defense. The public is open to the move, one pollster said, but it’s still risky: “It will give conservatives something to rally around.”