Is That Your Final Answer?

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December 8, 2010 1:14 p.m.

Sen. Susan Collins lays out what she needs to allow DADT repeal to come to a vote. On its face, her demands can probably be met by Harry Reid without too much sweat. That’s probably why Reid has now put off tonight’s vote.

Now, you could argue that Reid just caved by putting off the vote, but I think that’s the wrong read on this.

Collins has finally made her demands concrete and public. And they are not outrageous. At one point she wanted or was said to want two weeks of debate. Now she’s asking for a manageable 4 days. Would we have gotten here anyway? Maybe. Did Reid’s forcing the issue make the difference? Hard to say for sure, but probably.

This much is clear: the day started with DADT repeal looking completely dead and ends with a very plausible way forward to 60 votes in the Senate in this lame duck session. Not a done deal yet, but prospects for repeal are a whole lot better than they were 12 hours ago.

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