Tom DeLay, once considered the most powerful man in Congress, predicted Tuesday night that even if Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWhy payroll tax cut opponents may want to reconsider Michelle Obama, Sanders, Kasich to be featured on first night of Democratic convention: report Graham says he appreciates Trump orders, but 'would much prefer a congressional agreement' MORE becomes president he will not be the most powerful Democrat in Washington.

DeLay believes instead that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be the capital's strongest Democrat, delivering his prediction in response to an MSNBC projection that Democrats would control 261 House seats.

"Nancy Pelosi will be the most powerful speaker in a generation," DeLay said during an interview with MSNBC host Chris Matthews.

DeLay, the former House Republican Majority Leader, predicted that Pelosi and her House Democratic colleagues would give Obama a brief "honeymoon" period but that Pelosi would eventually assert her greater strength.

"They're going to run circles around Obama," said DeLay in reference to House Democrats. "If he doesn't play ball he'll look pretty bad."

Obama appeared assured of winning the White House Tuesday after networks declared him the projected winner in Ohio, effectively quashing the hopes Republican nominee John McCain.

Obama was declared the projected winner in Pennsylvania earlier in the evening. Without Pennsylvania, McCain needed to win Ohio to have a hope of winning the race.

-Alexander Bolton