Palin Says She Won't Run For President
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
Sarah Palin says she will not run for the 2012 GOP nomination for president. The former vice presidential nominee made the announcement on the syndicated Mark Levin radio show. For more, I'm joined by NPR's Don Gonyea. And, Don, what reasons did Palin give?
DON GONYEA, BYLINE: She says after much prayer, much deliberation and a great deal of discussion with her family, she has just decided it's something she does not want to do. She did also, in this interview with Mark Levin in responding to a question from him, cite just general security concerns she had about her family. Let's give a listen.
(SOUNDBITE OF RADIO SHOW, "MARK LEVIN SHOW")
SARAH PALIN: You know, to be perfectly honest with you, much of what you just mentioned went into the consideration, you know, the protection of kids and their innocence and their security, much went into the decision that was based upon family and what is best for them. Family does come first.
GONYEA: So it's kind of vintage Palin, that answer to that question right there.
BLOCK: Yeah. And, Don, clarity on whether Sarah Palin would join the race has been hanging over the primary campaign for some time, but it has started to seem less and less likely that she would join, right?
GONYEA: Absolutely. And polling - this is not just recent polls, but a steady trend over the past year - showed her popularity declining, the number of Republicans who wanted her to run declining. A new CBS News poll this week, three out of four of those polled said they do not think she should run for president. And in polling, head-to-head polling against President Obama and against the other GOP candidates in the field, she was coming in well down in the pack. She would have entered as a second-tier candidate in single digits. So no doubt, she looked at all of that as well.
BLOCK: Yeah. An interesting venue for her to make this announcement, not on FOX News, on the Mark Levin radio show.
GONYEA: Exactly. He clearly is a very conservative nationally syndicated talk show host, so she is speaking to her base, she is speaking to someone who wished she would have said she was running, she is speaking to an audience that loves her, but again, not even the broader-based audience of a cable TV network, including the one that she works for. So I don't have a good answer to why that, but it was a bit of a surprise.
BLOCK: Yeah. Don, how does Sarah Palin's decision not to join the 2012 campaign affect the other candidates in the race?
GONYEA: At this point, I don't think it does. I think they have all been proceeding as though she would not get in, and this basically confirms that, so no surprise to us, really, no surprise to them, no surprise to pundits. They will certainly be looking - at least some of them will be looking for her endorsement now that that endorsement is officially out there to be gotten. But in terms of the shape of the field, it's not like there were - there was a bloc of Palin voters that was looking for somewhere to go.
BLOCK: And she made it quite clear today that she thinks she does have a substantial role to keep playing.
GONYEA: She did. In fact, let's hear, from the same interview with Mark Levin, what she had to say about that.
(SOUNDBITE OF RADIO SHOW, "MARK LEVIN SHOW")
PALIN: Not being a candidate, really, you're unshackled, and you're allowed to be even more active. And I look forward to helping coordinate the strategies that will assist in replacing our president and retaking the Senate, maintaining the House, helping a good, constitutional conservative be elected to the governor seats around this nation.
GONYEA: And she will be out there campaigning, no doubt in that red white and blue Sarah Palin bus that we saw a lot of this summer that did fuel some of the speculation. She will still be giving speeches, she will still be, no doubt, writing books and trying to make money that way.
BLOCK: OK. Don Gonyea, thanks so much.
BLOCK: Don Gonyea again with the news that Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, former vice presidential nominee, will not be running for president in 2012.
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