Republican tactician Karl Rove said Wednesday that Sen. John McCain’s vice presidential pick was a political choice and that excitement over Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will subside.
"Nothing lasts for 60-some-odd days," Rove told The Associated Press after appearing at a health care conference. "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."
Rove said Palin was a "political pick" just as Sen. Barack Obama’s choice of Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden was, and that she is not the most qualified candidate. Biden, well-versed in foreign policy issues after more than three decades in the Senate, makes up for the Illinois senator’s lack of experience in that area. Palin has been governor for less than two years, and was mayor of small-town Wasilla before that.
But Rove said he had no qualms about her ability to lead.
The real question, he said, is whether the presidential candidates are qualified "and frankly, the answer to that is I think the American people have deep and persistent doubts about the readiness of this dynamic and charismatic first-term senator from Illinois."
The former political adviser to President Bush also noted changes in McCain’s demeanor since he last sought the White House in 2000.
"He was a little bit of a hothead in 2000. He held a grudge and I think the passage of time has caused him to sort of say, ‘You know what? Life is short and I’m going to be focused on doing what I think is right and not hold grudges or be angry about things,’" Rove said. "He was angry after the 2000 election."
Rove also reiterated earlier criticism of television ads by both campaigns that he said crossed the line.
He said Obama is an "arrogant dilettante" but still offered the Democratic nominee some advice: "The way that Obama can win is by explaining, expounding on who he is."