September 18th, 2008
12:23 PM ET
12 years ago

Rove: Palin excitement will die down

Rove says the excitement surrounding Palin will wear off.

Rove says the excitement surrounding Palin will wear off.

(CNN) - His insight guided both of President Bush's successful White House bids, but aides to John McCain might just be hoping Karl Rove stops talking.

Days after the prominent Republican strategist said the latest McCain campaign ads had "gone too far" and failed the "100 percent truth test," Rove told the Associated Press Wednesday he thinks the choice of Sarah Palin was a political one and that the excitement she has generated will soon wear off.

"Nothing lasts for 60-some-odd days," he told the Associated Press. "Will she be the center of attention in the remaining 48 days? No, but she came on in a very powerful way and has given a sense of urgency to the McCain campaign that's pretty remarkable."

Related: Palin excitement levels off

Rove also described the choice of Palin as a "political pick," and said she was not the most qualified Republican McCain could have chosen. But Rove also said Joe Biden, who has spent three decades in the Senate, was also a political pick - designed to make up for Barack Obama's relatively short resume.

"I think the American people have deep and persistent doubts about the readiness of this dynamic and charismatic first-term senator from Illinois," said Rove.

Rove's comments also come days after he wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal advising Barack Obama to stop attacking Palin directly, noting past attempts by Democratic presidential nominees to attack the No. 2 on the GOP ticket have largely fell flat.

“It's a match-up he'll lose," Rove writes Thursday in his regular Wall Street Journal column. "If Mr. Obama wants to win, he needs to remember he's running against John McCain for president, not Mrs. Palin for vice president."

Rove also told the AP Obama is an "arrogant dilettante," but continued to offer the Illinois senator advice on how to win the election: "The way that Obama can win is by explaining, expounding on who he is."

Filed under: John McCain • Karl Rove • Sarah Palin
soundoff (249 Responses)
  1. Joan, Ontario

    Probably Rove is not really trying to give any positive advice to anyone. He is just trying to improve his image and very low approval ratings. He has even lower approval ratings than Bush and Cheney which is pretty sad. Many people think he should have been forced to face hearings and maybe criminal charges. Whatever he says should be taken with a grain of salt and a lot of caution. Recently on the Daily show they showed him before Obama picked his VP ripping Kaine because he was just a governor and wasn't qualified and then they fast forwarded to him praising McCain's pick of Palin even though she has a lot less experience. On that same show, they showed O'Reily saying really horrible things about Jaime Lyn Sears unwed pregancy and blaming the parents. Then they fastforwarded a few months to him praising the Palins. There's a lot of double talk and hypocracy from both Rove and O'Reilly.

    September 18, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Tom

    Rove is so out of touch with the base anymore, I don't think anyone should take his advice seriously. (although I can't help agreeing with him that Palin's charm will quickly fade).

    September 18, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Todd

    Anyone notice that McCain is looking more and more confused??

    September 18, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |


    September 18, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. Central Scruitinizer

    Wow! Karl Roves got more chins than a Chinese phone book.

    September 18, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  6. foolishness will last until jesus comes again

    We need a 911 panel to investigate the statements by KR

    September 18, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. John in Ohio

    McCain should have picked Huckabee instead of taking a chance on a dangerous and incapable unknown. Now I'm going to vote for Obama, because at least both of them are reasonably capable of doing the job of the president. McCain might be able to be President, but Palin isn't even able to be vice president, she has no idea what a vice president even does. And if something happens to McCain, Caribou Barbie will be the leader of the free world!

    Obama 08, or even Barr 08, but definitely not McCain Ever.

    September 18, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. OS

    In the town hall meeting she never answered the specifics of her foreign policies and was beating around the bush.

    Can she name the captial and heads of the countires of the close allies of USA?

    September 18, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Alex

    By Maverick, Bill, do you mean someone who caves to his party base instead of standing up for what he believes? Anyone remember the good old days of the straight talk express?

    Republicans for Obama. It's the smart choice!

    September 18, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Anna PA

    Karl Rove is definitley up to something. Maybe he see's the writing on the wall and is thinking of trying to switch sides. But the democrats would never have him. Karl Rove is a pathetic excuse for an American, along with The whole Bush administration, McCain and Palin. Don't let them take our country any lower!! Vote Obama/Biden!!!

    September 18, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. Independent from GA

    I smell a RAT. Rove is up to something. Be careful people!

    September 18, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Ryan, Florida

    If McCain really put "Country First" as he claims, he would have picked Mitt Romney for VP.
    No, instead he went for Republican first, took a gamble to capitalise on the Hillary voter angst, and is now trying to lie his way to power.

    Country First my hat. Enough is enough!

    Obama-Biden 2008.

    September 18, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. Bullwinkle says no to Palin

    Who is the scariest:


    The all make my sick and my flesh crawl.Uhhhhhhhhhh!

    September 18, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. bobb

    Karl is up to something fishy here. someone needs to guard the back door, it seems karl is trying to slip in. can you say TROJAN HORSE.

    September 18, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. mitchell

    she's gettin heckled in iowa.
    i love iowa.
    iowa loves barack.

    September 18, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Frank

    Palin/McCain is a disgrace to Republicans and an insult to the American voter ! True, a large part of the American electorate is rather ...simple – but even for those Palin/McCain has to be too stupid (I hope).

    September 18, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. FactCheck

    I think even Karl Rove (who has always put his personal interests above those of the country) realizes that Palin is a serious detriment to the Republicans grand scheme of things. She is starting to do some real damage to the brand in the sense that they are now viewed as desperate and needy... that is something that could never have been said of Bush and his cronies.

    September 18, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Mary Ellen

    Karl Rove is up to something but eventually his plan will be revealed.

    I wouldn't trust him with a pig and a tube of lipstick

    September 18, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. conatasustenamus

    Palin in no way overshadows the career history, the preparedness to lead, and the vision of a McCain Presidency.

    Clearly–she is a phenomenon–and may have a political future in her own right. But there is only one choice for President.

    You can choose an agent (mindless, and inexperienced) of change like Obama.

    Or a seasoned veteran who has warned of many of the problems we are facing today–while a lone Senator. A war hero–who has exulted in victory–and suffered at the hands of an enemy. Who better than anyone understands ALL of the roles of the President: negotiate treaties, preside as Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces; preside of exectution of the laws of the land; preserve the peace; defend the safety and security of the United States.

    Palin is great. And clearly...she has more executive experience than the Democratic candidate and teh VP candidate–but she is running for VP slot. Nobody is more cognizant of that fact than Palin.

    She will defer to the expert.
    The citizens will make the right choice. Despite Mr. Rove.

    September 18, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. S. Boatman

    We Already Know She Was Picked As A Ploy! Her Shine Is Gone!

    September 18, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. EJ in Texas

    KARL ROVE defending Democrats saying once that McCain's ads were too over the top and now saying Palin-mania will soon play out? This is truely the end of the world. When will the 7 horsemen of the apacolypse show up?

    September 18, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. Sue

    Obama 08!!!!!!!

    Willing to take a chance. I love my country to much to see a it go down hill by the republicans.

    September 18, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Baze

    The writing on the wall speaks of a G.O.P demise. When and if Obama wins, Rove knows that it will be open season on his party. Becoming more personal and transparent is his way of trying to protect himself and the G.O.P. from political extinction.


    September 18, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. No Hillary = No Obama

    Typical male-speak. Just can't stand it that a woman has the spotlight.

    September 18, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Greg Rodgers

    I thought it was dead already.

    Palin is a joke.

    Even Chuck Hagel knows that.....

    September 18, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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