Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Sarah Palin said she won’t seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, ending a lengthy and attention-grabbing political flirtation that kept voters and potential rivals guessing while buttressing her public profile.
The former Alaska governor and her party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee -- more recently a reality TV star and cable-news commentator -- said in a statement sent to reporters that she opted against a White House run because she believed “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.”
Her announcement removed a major uncertainty surrounding the Republican presidential race while raising questions about how she might use her celebrity and political following to shape the primary.
“I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets, including in the race for pres,” Palin’s statement said. “I will help coordinate strategies to assist in replacing the president, retaking the Senate and maintaining the House.”
Palin, whose unconventional tactics and star quality generated attention for her even from the sidelines of the presidential contest, will likely offer a coveted endorsement for one of the Republican contenders.
Her decision not to run could provide a boost to Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is competing with Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann and businessman Herman Cain for the backing of those Tea Party-aligned voters who favored Palin, as well as the fiscal and social conservatives who hold sway in the Iowa caucuses that start the nomination process.
--Editors: Don Frederick, Mark Silva
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