(Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
For those who have been holding their breath waiting to see if Sarah Palin will run for president in 2012, they can finally exhale. The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee has announced she will not enter the 2012 GOP primary for president announced in an interview with radio talk show host Mark Levin late Wednesday. However, most analysts are not surprised at her decision.
“I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States,” Palin wrote in a statement. “As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.”
Kyle Kondik, a political analyst who works with Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, wasn’t surprised by Palin’s decision.
“Sarah never gave much of an indication she was going to run, and given her poll numbers over the last several months, I don’t think many people felt she was a viable candidate in a general election.”
A poll released Tuesday found that two-thirds of likely Republican voters did not want Palin to run.
Kondik also added that the filing deadline for candidates in New Hampshire and Florida is coming up in the next couple of weeks and Palin had to make an announcement soon.
Palin has spent considerable time traveling the country over the last four years, most recently in a summer bus tour that coincidently made several stops where major candidates happened to be. She also penned a memoir detailing her political experiences during the 2008 presidential race when she ran on the ticket with the party’s nominee, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
When asked by Levin if she will support the candidate who wins the Republican nomination, Palin said, “I have confidence in that. I look forward to supporting our nominee … the right candidate will be elevated that will be our nominee. We’ll be able to get behind that person and make sure that Barack Obama is replaced.”
Now that Palin and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have both indicated they are out of the race, the remaining announced candidates will appeal to the conservative base for both support and financial donations.
“Knock on wood, I think the field is set, since Christie, and now Palin have decided not to run,” said Kondik. "It now appears to be a two-person race between Perry and Romney and it will be interesting to watch in the next few weeks.”
Palin did indicate she could have an influence over the election process in 2012.
“The consideration was given to what role can I play best to help pursue this mission and succeed in this mission of defending our republic,” she told Levin. “I believe not being a candidate … you’re unshackled and you’re allowed to be … more active. I look forward to coordinating the strategies that will assist in replacing our president.”
Palin, also a paid Fox News contributor, will discuss her decision more on Greta Van Susteren’s show, “On the Record.” In addition, Palin is scheduled to speak at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Saturday.