Rove: McCain made 'brilliant,' 'political' decision with Palin pick
David Edwards and Nick Juliano
Published: Tuesday September 2, 2008

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Karl Rove, the former White House fixer who's made a living in politics for his entire adult life, praised John McCain's "brilliant" pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate even while acknowledging that the pick was motivated solely by politics rather than her ability to step in and become commander in chief.

Fox News host Alan Colmes, demonstrating an uncharacteristic willingness to go after one of his network's many conservative guests, reminded Rove of his previous observations that Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who was considered a finalist to be Barack Obama's No. 2, had little time in office and his only previous experience was as mayor of a small city.

Kaine ended up not being picked, but Palin -- who had a nearly identical resume, earned McCain's blessing as the person the 72-year-old Republican thought would be uniquely suited to become Commander in Chief if anything were to happen to him. So did that selection have purely political motives, Colmes asked.

"Both of the campaigns made a political choice," Rove said, unable to single out the Republican candidate for criticism.

Filibustering until the end of the Hannity & Colmes segment, Rove went on to explain how, like McCain, Obama didn't end up choosing the running mate he best thought would be able to run the country. Obama's vice presidential nominee is Joe Biden, a Senate veteran who chairs the Foreign Affairs committee and has half a lifetime of experience navigating Washington and the world, but in Rove's view, all the Delaware senator offers is some help picking up "working class Catholic voters," while he "covers the weakness of Obama" on foreign policy.

It's hard to see in what ways Palin, the first-term governor of one of the least populous states in the country, helps to fill out McCain's resume. Rove had little to offer in this arena.

"He made the decision he did," Rove said succinctly. "And it was a brilliant decision."

This video is from Fox's Hannity & Colmes, broadcast September 1, 2008.

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