In truth, both issues are peripheral to voter concerns. To them, the jobless recovery is what matters. New figures show that the unemployment rate in the US has jumped to a seven-month high of 9.8 per cent.
Nor did the White House get all it wanted from Congress recently. As the Senate was debating DADT, the House of Representatives killed a provision in a defence bill to transfer detainees from Guantanamo to the US.
But in politics having momentum - the Big Mo - is one of the most important, if intangible, factors. Recently, Obama could not even find Lil' Mo, Big Mo's smaller brother. Think of the Obama administration's failure to persuade Israel to renew the freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank.
But, with DADT and START, President Obama can go into the holiday season with a greater sense of purpose than before. That's a better Christmas present than he could have wished for a few months ago.