This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," November 5, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
JANE SKINNER, HOST: Let's check in with Lanny Davis, former White House counsel to the Clintons.
Lanny, I want to read you a quote from Tom DeLay, who is a former, of course, Republican House majority leader. He said this: "Nancy Pelosi will be the most powerful speaker in a generation. The boss is going to be Nancy Pelosi. They'll give him," meaning Barack Obama, "a little honeymoon at the beginning but after a couple of years, Nancy Pelosi is going to get whatever she wants. They're going to run circles around Obama."
Do you agree at all?
LANNY DAVIS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL TO CLINTONS: No, I think the former minority whip is probably having a bad day and it's affecting his judgment. But the fact is that Nancy Pelosi is going to want Barack Obama to succeed and will want the president to succeed regardless of party.
And I'm impressed that Karl Rove is as gracious as he is, and that's why he's so successful. He does identify that Barack Obama is a centrist, fundamentally will reach across the aisle and try to be a bipartisan president. I expect he'll have cabinet members who will be Republicans.
And so, Nancy Pelosi needs to cooperate and try to create a more bipartisan atmosphere in the House. If Rahm Emanuel is the chief of staff — and I have no inside intelligence — that will help Barack Obama because his relationship with the speaker is so close.
SKINNER: You know, The L.A Times asked today, Lanny, this question of which Barack Obama will end up dominating. I mean, they called him either the ambitious liberal or the cautious mediator. I mean, he does kind of have those competing factions within him, within his candidacy, which are we going to see and don't they compete at end of the day?
DAVIS: Well, lots of politicians have different ideological impulses depending on the issues. I have a piece in tomorrow's Wall Street Journal, which I'm reminding everyone, don't try to pigeonhole Barack Obama. He is not a classic liberal. He has many conservative values. He first spoke out on the importance of faith and religion.
He went over my son, you know, despite our Clinton family connection, because he showed that we don't have to give up religion and conservative values to the religious right or the Republican Party. I think that Karl is right. There are lots of elements in his program, especially economic, that are fiscal conservative possibilities, and we'll see a mix of liberalism and conservatism.
Most importantly, he is a solutions person, and your mediation point is very good, but I think bringing people together isn't necessarily mediating. It's orienting yourself to be goal-oriented, and solutions is really what the American people want now, and not partisan battles.
SKINNER: And we'll see where he ends up. Lanny Davis, former White House counsel to the Clinton administration, good to see you, Lanny. Thank you.
DAVIS: Thank you. And thanks for having me on.
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