Karl Rove and Greta Van Susteren Discuss Sarah Palin's Future
Early on in this "On the Record" segment, Rove made a statement about the former Alaska governor that's guaranteed to anger liberals across the fruited plain:
I think she's an interesting personality who relates well to a lot of Americans. And a lot of people who have been heretofore on the fringes of politics and sitting on the sidelines were motivated during the campaign to get involved and since that time have become even more enamored of her.
Rove also referred to a recent column by our friend Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times "where he pointed out Barack Obama's approval rating is 49 and Sarah Palin's approval rating has now risen to 43" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: She's number one. According to Nielsen Book Scan (ph), former governor Sarah Palin's memoir "Going Rogue" is the number-one- selling book in the country. Yes, the country's still talking about Governor Palin. And Karl Rove is back with us. Karl, what is it? She has sold over 4690,000 copies in the first week, which is second to former president Bill Clinton. But what is it? Why -- why are they selling like hotcakes?
KARL ROVE: Well, I think she's an interesting personality who relates well to a lot of Americans. And a lot of people who have been heretofore on the fringes of politics and sitting on the sidelines were motivated during the campaign to get involved and since that time have become even more enamored of her.
And the fact she's got a very interesting book and speaks her mind and is traveling the country -- I mean, these crowds she's getting are really pretty amazing, people showing up in Roanoke, Virginia, on a -- you know, a freezing morning, you know, lining up hours before she shows up, 4,000 people at a military base to see her. I mean, you know, this is pretty amazing. And to sell this amount of books, not be a president -- I mean, President Clinton sold slightly more books. Something tells me she may end up selling more. You know, her sales may be more durable than his. It's certainly a good read.
VAN SUSTEREN: How do...
ROVE: I've started to read it. It's a very good book.
VAN SUSTEREN: How do we know, or does anyone know whether she's (INAUDIBLE) you know, a flash in the pan or whether this -- if she has any staying power on this? I mean, there's a lot of talk about her enthusiasm, but how do we know that by next month, it's like, Sarah who?
ROVE: Well, I mean, you know, look, right now, she's selling books, so she's in a -- you know, our expectations are, you know, is she out there speaking her mind, you know, are we seeing her, getting to know her a little bit better, people having a chance to touch her. But look, the next question is, is she going to be a candidate for president? And if so, it's going to be a much different arena that she enters and the expectations are going to be much, much higher. People are going to be viewing her through a perspective of does she have the substance and the experience and the breadth and bandwidth to be president of the United States?
VAN SUSTEREN: How do you show substance?
ROVE: Well, you show substance by -- you know, by -- by talking about it, by, you know, offering interesting ideas, by commenting about current events in a way that people find -- find revealing of your leadership skills, and by, you know, charting a course, by setting a theme and charting a course for what you want to do and where you want the country to go that people would find attractive.
VAN SUSTEREN: But here's the interesting thing, is that all those rumors about who her son, Trig -- you know, who is the real mother of her son, Trig, a horrible Internet rumor -- you know, there were Internet rumors about a lot of candidates. There were Internet rumors about President Obama that he was never confronted with, it would have been wrong to confront him about. But she gets slapped around with that. I mean, so how does she overcome the ones that she gets hit with?
ROVE: Well, look, it's to answer the -- the ones that she feels she needs to but move on. I mean, don't get stuck in this. Don't get -- you know, don't get in a debate with Levi Johnston. Don't get sort of focused on it. Don't show your anger.
VAN SUSTEREN: But she gets asked about that. What does -- what does she do...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... if she gets asked about it? I mean, the problem is, you know, if she sits down in an interview and someone says, Hey, how about Levi Johnston? Is he really posing nude in the magazine? What do you think about it? Will he be there for Thanksgiving? What's she supposed to say?
ROVE: She needs to...
VAN SUSTEREN: Talk about Iran?
ROVE: She needs to -- well, no, she needs to find a way to move off of it and get on to things that are important because, look, the media wants to stick her there. They want to have her be somebody who's more comfortable -- that people are more comfortable seeing her on the front page -- on the front cover of "People" magazine than seeing her in the Oval Office. And the way to do that is to keep these questions about, you know, sort of minor side issues coming and keep her drawn into those conversations, rather than allowing her to begin to develop and flesh out a vision of where she would want to take the country were she to become a candidate.
And she shouldn't confuse these two. Selling books is not the same as running for president, so she shouldn't try and run for president at the same time that she's selling books, nor should she be selling books when she's trying to run for president. These are two -- two different and distinct missions, and the expectations for running for president are much different, much more extensive and much tougher than they are for selling books, and she shouldn't try and rush those two.
VAN SUSTEREN: And to tease the viewers out there, you talked about Friday in the Wall Street Journal article, but what I'm waiting for is your book that I hear is coming out in March. So -- but I'll read the article on Friday, but we're looking for the book, too, as well. Karl...
ROVE: You know, one more quick thing?
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes.
ROVE: Andy Malcolm (ph) in The L.A. Times had a very interesting post in his -- in his bog, "Top of the Ticket," where he pointed out Barack Obama's approval rating is 49 and Sarah Palin's approval rating has now risen to 43. Only 6 points separate the approval ratings of these two individuals. It's a pretty interesting comment about the -- about the -- what this book has done to -- in order to -- what this book has done to sort of make -- make people open their eyes, reconsider her and develop a different, more positive opinion.
VAN SUSTEREN: Except he's got the lousy job of having to make decisions, which oftentimes hurts your ability to keep friends.
ROVE: Yes. Exactly. Absolutely.
VAN SUSTEREN: Karl, thank you.
ROVE: You bet.