(CNN) - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's rock-star status could solidly position her to lead the Republican Party in four years, but former top Bush aide Karl Rove said the "marketplace of ideas" will ultimately decide her political future.
"Republicans believe in markets, so the marketplace of ideas will decide what the answer [to her future] is," Rove told NBC Tuesday. "These people are going to get out there, campaign, offer their ideas, offer themselves."
Palin has declined to say whether she is officially interested in seeking the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, but has left open the possibility. Palin's popularity among the party's base and firmly established name-recognition would likely mean instant top-tier status should she decide to throw her hat into the ring.
But ultimately, Rove said, Republicans need more time to get to know Palin before embracing her as the party's future.
"Remember she was on the stage for nine weeks in the general election - that’s not a lot of time," he said. "Now we are going to get to a chance see her over a longer period of time."