When's He Getting to Gays In The Military? Or NAFTA?

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There are a couple of things that Barack Obama promised in the 2008 campaign that he has not gotten to. Well, actually there are several but let's focus on gays in the military and NAFTA. On Sunday, Obama will speak at a big dinner for the Human Rights Campaign, but he seems unlikely to announce a repeal of the ban at the time--maybe reiterate his intention to repeal it but not the repeal itself. Over the weekend, Gen. James Jones, the national security adviser cast doubt that it would be soon. So if that's the case, how will the crowd react? Being a dressed-up Washington affair, I bet with polite applause but no catcalls.

Obama also promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. There was a kerfuffle in the primaries when his economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, was alleged to have said to Canadian officials that Obama didn't really mean it. Both Canadians and Goolsbee shot down the report. Still, no movement on NAFTA. The unions aren't putting much heat on Obama to get to this one, not with health care and the Employee Free Choice Act still on the table. But you have to wonder when he'll get to this one, too.

I'm not saying that Obama is spineless for holding off on these. It's probably the shrewd political move. But eventually he's going to have to address them.

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Matthew Cooper is a managing editor (White House) for National Journal.

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