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Special Report

New White House Press Secretary

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," January 27,2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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JAY CARNEY, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, TIME: The best press secretaries were deft at serving both their boss, the president, the White House, the administration, and the press. And not, it's a tricky job. I'm sure I wouldn't be any good at it.

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BRET BAIER, HOST OF "SPECIAL REPORT":Well, we'll see. That was Jay Carney back in 2006 when he was Washington Bureau Chief for TIME magazine. Now he's going to be the next White House press secretary. He was the vice president's communications director. What about this choice? Will it change anything as far as the communication operation at the White House? Steve?

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, I think Jay Carney is a good guy; he's a smart guy, and a good person. I have some personal experience with him when I was just graduating from journalism school. At the recommendation of a common friend he sat me down. He had no reason to do this. He spent time coaching me and telling me about Washington, how I should get a job. So I personally like the guy.

But I think beyond that, he's a smart guy. He knows policy and he knows politics. And for this job, at this time, he's somebody I think the president will be able to depend on because he's got to convince people in a sense that what they just lived through for the last two years wasn't what they thought they just lived through for the last two years.

BAIER: Mort, Brit described it earlier as the attacker versus the absorber, saying Carney may be an absorber when it comes to press.

MORT KONDRACKE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, ROLL CALL: I thought, I thought Brit was wise as usual. I agree with that. And I agree with Steve, too, that Jay Carney is a great guy.

I think, look, the two things you have to have if you are a good press secretary is access to the president and the willingness to talk to the press and give information to the maximum extent you can.

I think Robert Gibbs absolutely has access, total access. He's a pal of the president has been with him since he was a senator, which Jay has not. That is something he will have to earn. But as to the willingness to give information and defend the administration with information as opposed to either hunkering down or just fighting with the press, I think Jay has got the skills to do that.

BAIER: Who do you think was one of your best recollections of press secretaries?

KONDRACKE: You know, Marlon Fitzwater handled that job extremely well, was close to Reagan, was close Bush one and did it well. I thought Tony Snow did a magnificent job, too, because what he did was defend a presidency under attack, George W. Bush, but did it one with humor and two with information. And I think Ari Fleischer did the same thing, actually, defended with facts.

BAIER: Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I think Carney might be a lot like Tony Snow, really. He's going to have access. But also has, he will defend his president. But he will do it with some charm and reserve. The contrast for Robert Gibbs is going to be interesting. Gibbs mastered being obscure and obfuscating while being aggressive and attacking. That's hard to do.

Carney I think is going to be a lot more open. I think he will be the face of this kinder, kinder, gentler second half of the Obama administration in a way I think will reflect well on it.

BAIER: Well, officially, we'd like welcome and invite the new White House press secretary to come here on "Special Report" for an interview, perhaps the first.

(LAUGHTER)

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