Palin says presidency "not on my radar screen"

Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:26pm EST
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By Andrew Stern

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Sarah Palin said a run for the White House in 2012 is "not on my radar screen right now" as the Republican carefully did not close the door to a possible candidacy in an interview that launched her big book tour.

Palin spoke to TV talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey as she began the roll-out to her memoir, "Going Rogue: An American Life." Palin made clear she wanted to concentrate on the 2010 congressional elections in which Republicans hope to make inroads into Democratic majorities in the U.S. Congress.

"I'm concentrating on 2010 and making sure that we have issues to tackle," Palin said in the interview taped last week and broadcast on Monday. "I don't know what I'm going to be doing in 2012. (Running for president is) not on my radar screen right now."

The former Alaska governor and unsuccessful 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, who is popular among many U.S. conservatives, has embarked on a campaign-style media tour to promote Tuesday's release of her book.

Her appearance on Winfrey's program, one of the most watched daytime shows on U.S. television, comes as political insiders watch her every move to see if she may launch a bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Winfrey actively supported Democrat Barack Obama during last year's campaign.

Palin is to hit a dozen states during a book tour that will take her mostly to smaller cities. The initial printing of 1.5 million copies promises the memoir written with a ghost writer will be an instant best-seller.

If Palin is to seek higher office, she'll have to overcome some political headwinds.   Continued...