[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/29/art.rove0329.gi.jpg caption="Rove spoke at the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee in January."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - On the sidelines during presidential campaign season for the first time this decade, former presidential adviser Karl Rove couldn't resist taking shots at Democratic frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama.
Rove focused his firepower on the Illinois senator at a speech to the Young America's Foundation in Washington, D.C. Friday night, barely mentioning his Democratic rival, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.
President Bush's former chief strategist, who left the White House in 2007, pegged Obama as a do-nothing senator who talked big and achieved little. "What bills has he sponsored?" Rove asked.
The fact that some Democrats are still hoping that former Vice President Al Gore will bring the party together, said Rove, is a signal that the party is in disarray. "You know you got a problem if the answer is Al Gore," Rove said to laughter.
Rove expressed cautious optimism that a conservative would be in the White House come next January, telling the crowd "there's a long time until November."
–CNN's Jeff Simon and Jillian Harding