How Will Hillary Clinton Fare at Confirmation Hearing?

This is a rush transcript from "America's News HQ," January 7, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JANE SKINNER, HOST: The schedule is now set. Next Tuesday will be Hillary Clinton's big day. The confirmation hearing for her nomination as secretary of state set for the 13th. Will she face any opposition in the senate she is currently a part of? Let's bring in former RNP Senior Adviser Terry Holt and former Finance Vice Chair of the DNC Michael Brown as well.

Terry, if a scrutiny is going to come, it most likely is going to come from Republicans. Do you think it will?

TERRY HOLT, FORMER RNC SENIOR ADVISER: Well, I don't think so. I think that Senator Clinton will come very well prepared. She will be asked tough questions about how we will present ourselves in the new administration in the Middle East with respect to Afghanistan war and the Iraq war. I believe, though, that as long as it's about Hillary Clinton, it will be more of a coronation. It is the 500-pound gorilla in the room, Bill Clinton, that could be the real problem. Bill Clintons' activities since he left the presidency have included raising boatloads of cash from everywhere around the world, and there may be quite a few questions about what his role will be and how much interference he will cause Hillary Clinton going forward.

Video: Watch Jane Skinner's interview

SKINNER: Michael, have they successfully defused that issue of his dealings?

MICHAEL BROWN, FORMER FINANCE VICE-CHAIR OF DNC: I think so. I think it certainly possibly Senator Clinton could get some questions but I don't think it is going to derail the nomination, and I don't know if I would go as far as calling it a coronation, but I think it's going to be pretty friendly in that chamber, and Senator Clinton is probably one of the smartest people in politics, so, excuse me, she will come very well prepared.

SKINNER: Michael, I want to say...

HOLT: Well, and she is considerably to the right, I'm sorry to interrupt.

SKINNER: No, no go ahead Terry.

HOLT: She's considerably to the right of Barack Obama in her support for the war and in her confidence in the American military to project strength in the world. So she is more of a hawk that the administration she is going into and republicans know that.

SKINNER: Michael, I want to get to the Roland Burris situation and the shift on the part of democratic leaders today in their opposition. This is what Harry Reid said just last month, "Anybody appointed by Governor Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and as we have said will not be seated by the democratic caucus." Now it sounds like he's on his way to supporting this appointment.

BROWN: Well, like we all know in politics things change from day to day. I think Senator Reid was probably talking to some legal scholars and clearly when you have the congressional black caucus and other democrats that are standing strong in support of soon to be Senator Burris, I think that helped also shape his opinion today, but more importantly, he, I think, is doing what also is right, following democracy and we will see what happens in Illinois and their state houses and see what happens by the end of the week.

SKINNER: But Terry, if he couldn't make the case legally, why not come out of that press conference today and just say it? "I can't make the case legally; I still stand by what I said." Instead he just tossed it back to the Supreme Court of Illinois and back to the Secretary of State of Illinois'' lap and almost empowering him.

HOLT: It was a total dodge. I mean this has been an embarrassment and a terrible political mistake from the beginning. You know, rob Blagojevich threw a pretty savvy jab at the democrats and at Barack Obama specifically, and they walked straight into the punch. I mean, they don't have any legal ground to stand on. The last couple of days have been a circus. This place should have been a celebration of total democrats control, the victory in November, and what it was, as you saw the front pages in most of the papers today, it looked like Burris was about to be mugged by the United States Senate, and I think at this point they just want it off the front page.

SKINNER: Terry Holt and Michael Brown we're going to have to leave it there, but you know we actually won't leave it there. There will be developments by the hour so keep it here on FOX and we'll talk to you guys again, I'm sure. Thank you.

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