By Sam Youngman - 10/28/10 10:27 AM EDT
President Obama told a small group of liberal bloggers Wednesday that he has a strategy for ending "Don't ask, don't tell" during the lame-duck session.
Obama declined to divulge his plans for ending the controversial law through Congress, and he pushed back on criticism from liberals that he has not done enough to end it.
Obama said he spoke to the Log Cabin Republicans on Tuesday, urging them to go to the Senate and "get me those votes."
"Because what I do anticipate is that John McCain and maybe some others will filibuster this issue, and we're going to have to have a cloture vote," Obama said. "If we can get through that cloture vote, this is done."
Meeting with the group of bloggers in the Roosevelt Room, the president said he has been very "deliberate" in working to end the policy as part of a strategy he embarked upon when he took office.
Obama said his "hope is that will culminate in getting this thing overturned before the end of the year."
According to a transcript of the event posted on The Huffington Post, Obama pushed back on one question asked, saying he does not think the anger and frustration voiced by the gay community is fair given the steps he has taken to advance gay rights since taking office.
"I have been as systematic and methodical in trying to move that agenda forward as I could be, given my legal constraints, given that Congress had explicitly passed a law designed to tie my hands on the issue," Obama said. "And so, I'll be honest with you, I don't think that the disillusionment is justified."
On the matter, Obama said his "attitude is that we have been as vocal, as supportive of the LGBT community as any president in history."
"I've appointed more openly gay people to more positions in this government than any president in history," he said.
The president compared the push for gay rights to African-Americans' fight for civil rights, saying he understands that "things don't automatically get better unless people push to try to get things better."
"So I don't begrudge the LGBT community pushing, but the flip side of it is that this notion somehow that this administration has been a source of disappointment to the LGBT community, as opposed to a stalwart ally of the LGBT community, I think is wrong," Obama said.
The president also hinted that his position on gay marriage could be changing.
While joking that he was not prepared to make news during the meeting, Obama did agree with one blogger's assertion that "attitudes evolve, including mine."
"And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about, because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents," Obama said.
"And I care about them deeply. And so while I'm not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it's fair to say that it's something that I think a lot about."
Obama sat down with Joe Sudbay of AMERICABlog; Duncan Black ("Atrios"), who runs the site Eschaton; Barbara Morrill, who writes for the Daily Kos; Jon Amato, who is the founder of Crooks and Liars; and Oliver Willis, of the site of the same name.