Sarah Palin rules out US presidential bid in 2012
WASHINGTON – Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin ruled out Wednesday running for the US presidency in 2012, telling supporters that she could help the Republican cause more by working to elect others.
“After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States,” Palin said in a letter posted on her website.
“I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office – from the nation’s governors to congressional seats and the presidency,” she wrote.
“In the coming weeks I will help coordinate strategies to assist in replacing the president, re-taking the Senate, and maintaining the House.”
Palin, a darling of the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement who was Senator John McCain’s surprise running mate in 2008, had tantalized supporters for months with her “One Nation” bus tour around crucial early-voting states.
But her showing in the opinion polls never really lived up to the media hype and independent observers didn’t believe she could make a credible run and unseat President Barack Obama in next year’s November elections.
Her decision came the day after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also disappointed those wanting a shake-up of the Republican field and leaves an expected two-way battle for the nomination between former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Governor Rick Perry.
With Obama seen as vulnerable due to the faltering economy and stubbornly high unemployment, Republicans are desperate to find a candidate who can rally the conservative base but who also doesn’t turn off independents.
Many in the party still appear to have lingering doubts about Romney, the current front-runner. Some US Christians view his Mormon faith as odd, a cult or even a heresy and others see him as an inauthentic conservative.
Perry, hailed by the right as the savior of the race when he jumped in on August 13 and leapt to the front of the pack, has failed to sparkle in early debates despite burnishing strong conservative credentials.
The latest polls have shown his popularity plummeting and former pizza company executive Herman Cain gaining ground.
Palin chose to make her announcement first on “The Mark Levin Show,” a conservative radio program, telling the host she was determined to carry on the fight by helping to elect Republicans and oust Obama and the Democrats.
“I look forward to using all of the tools at my disposal to get the right people in there who have a servant’s heart and understand what it is that our country was built upon – free men, free markets,” she said.
The 47-year-old former Alaska governor is a political megastar in the United States and her endorsement will be keenly sought after by many Republican candidates.
According to her SarahPAC political action committee, quoted by ABC News, Palin vowed not to run a third-party campaign, saying it would “guarantee Obama’s re-election and that’s the last thing our republic can afford.”
Palin, now a contributor on Fox News, has been a relentless critic of Obama since the last election, grabbing the mantle of the Republican attack dog and slamming the president for his management of the economy.
She raised $1.6 million in campaign donations in the first six months of the year, according to Federal Election Commission documents, and many Republicans had hoped she would throw her hat into the ring.
Palin has consistently boycotted what she calls the “lamestream media,” preferring instead to use social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.
After tempting supporters for months with remarks like: “I would be willing to if I believe that it’s right for the country” and “I won’t close the door that perhaps could be open for me in the future,” many people posting on her Facebook site were gutted that she wasn’t running.
“I am shocked with everyone saying it is ok for Sarah not to run,” began one message from “Carolinians for Sarah Palin in 2012.”
“Everything she stands for is to fight against the crony capitalism in Washington and that is not possible to do sitting on the SIDELINES… Anyone who is not disappointed and let down and deflated was not a true believer! Please reconsider…”
Others were more forward-looking. “Please endorse somebody before mitt romney gets the nomination,” wrote Bill Pool.