(CNN) - Karl Rove, also known as "the architect" of George W. Bush's presidential campaigns, is calling Sarah Palin's upcoming Iowa book stops "a smart thing to do."
"That's a pretty smart move if you're thinking about running for president," Rove said Friday on Fox News.
The former Alaska governor on Saturday will make the first of two stops in Iowa, the site of the first presidential primary contest, to promote her new book "America by Heart."
Rove, who served as Deputy Chief of Staff under former President Bush, said the new book "gives her an excuse to be there as something other than a candidate, which is really important."
Bush won the Iowa caucus in 2000 and 2004, and Rove said Hawkeye State residents are not likely to support a candidate based on campaign ads or celebrity.
"One of the keys for Iowa is they want to see you up close and personal," Rove said. "They may want to see you several times before they decide whether or not they'll support you in the caucuses."
But Rove also acknowledged that this is just the beginning of the long run for the White House.
"She's got a problem with independents and a problem with Democrats," Rove said. "Over the course of the next year, like all of the Republican candidates, she's got to demonstrate that she's got an ability to unify the Republicans and reach outside the Republican ranks."
Palin is currently on a 16-stop book tour that ends December 3 with a visit to South Carolina, another important state for potential candidates in 2012.