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Palin says presidency ‘not on my radar screen’

Sarah Palin tells TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey that she doesn't have her sights set on the 2012 presidency.

"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's "The Oprah Winfrey Show." "I don't know what I'm going to be doing in 2012. [Running for president is] not on my radar screen right now."

Palin spoke to Winfrey as she began rolling out her 413-page memoir, “Going Rogue,” which will be released Tuesday. She begins a book tour Wednesday in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Winfrey opened by asking Palin if she felt snubbed at not getting an invitation to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" last year. Winfrey said she didn't have any candidates on her Chicago-based show during the campaign because of her support of President Barack Obama. Palin said she didn't feel snubbed and told Winfrey, "No offense to you, but it wasn't the center of my universe."

The former vice presidential candidate also discussed her experiences on the campaign trail and said she was confident in her abilities when she was asked to run with Sen. John McCain. When chosen, she said, "I felt like, wow, John McCain is a maverick. He's all about empowering women. He is all about equality. He's about the everyday working class individual who can succeed in this country and he chose someone who reflects that."

At the time, she thought that the only skeleton in her closet was the fact that she was received a D in college.

"I thought that was going to be the extent of the controversy," she said, laughing.

Palin said that she doesn't blame herself for the Republicans' election loss. "The reason we lost is because the economy tanked," she said. "People were sincerely looking for change … Our ticket was perceived as status quo."

Opening up about family
Palin talked about her family, telling Winfrey that the McCain campaign didn't let her address the pregnancy of her teenage daughter, Bristol, the way that she wanted.

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    Sarah Palin

    View images of her rise from governor of Alaska to a potential presidential contender.

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    A scene from the TV show Sarah Palin's Alaska. Sarah Palin ready to head up the river in Todd's boat to see the fish counting in Dillingham, where the Palin family usually spend 4th of July.

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    Sarah Palin is handed Sophie, a 10-week-old puppy, for a signature during the kick-off of the Tea Party Express bus tour at a rally on Monday, Oct. 18, 2010, in Reno, Nev.

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    Sarah Palin talks to supporters at an "Evening with Sarah Palin" event on Wednesday, May 12, 2010, in Rosemont, Ill.

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    People walk by a window display of "Going Rogue: an American Life", a book from former Republican vice-president candidate Sarah Palin, as it hit stores on November 17, 2009, in New York. Palin's book has already become a bestseller, with pre-release sales knocking Dan Brown's latest thriller off the number one spot on Amazon.com.

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    In the November 23 issue of Newsweek: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sarah? She’s Bad News for the GOP - And For Everybody Else Too, Evan Thomas looks at the impact of Sarah Palin on politics. The cover sparked controversy with Sarah Palin blasting the "out-of-context" cover as "sexist" because the photos were originally published in 'Runners World.' Palin took issue with Newsweek using a photo from an article about fitness to promote an analysis piece contemplating her relevance in politics.

    PRNewsFoto via Newsweek / PRNewsFoto via Newsweek
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    This photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009 shows talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, second from right, with former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her daughters, Willow, right, and Piper, left, during the taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in Chicago. Although Sarah Palin didn't answer Oprah's question about whether or not Levi Johnston was invited for Thanksgiving dinner, Sarah told Oprah that Levi is "still part of the family" and "he needs to know hes loved. When Palin was asked about a 2012 run, Palin said, "It's not on my radar screen."

    Harpo productions via AP / Harpo productions via AP
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    Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announces that she is stepping down from her position as Governor in Wasilla, Alaska on Friday July 3, 2009. The former Republican vice presidential candidate made the surprise announcement, saying she would step down July 26 but didn't announce her plans. (AP Photo/The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Robert DeBerry)

    The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman via AP / The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman via AP
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    Susan Wynalek, right, of Coltsneck, N.J., her daughter Stephanie, center and son Brett participate in a "Fire David Letterman" rally across from the Ed Sullivan Theater, on June 16, 2009 in New York. The protest was held in response to jokes he made on "The Late Show" about Sarah Palin and her teenage daughter.

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  • U.S Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain speaks to the crowd during his election night rally in Phoenix

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    Sen. John McCain concedes victory during an election night rally in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 4, 2008. The Republican and running mate Sarah Palin were defeated by a wide margin.

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    Sarah Palin accepts the vice-presidential nomination before a packed house at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. In her speech, she criticized the “Washington elite” that had raised questions about her qualifications.

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    Sen. John McCain, center, greets Bristol Palin and her boyfriend Levi Johnston as running mate Sarah Palin looks on.

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    This picture provided by John McCain's campaign shows his running mate Sarah Palin, left, meeting with first lady Laura Bush, center, and McCain's wife Cindy in Minneapolis on Sept. 2, 2008.

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    Sen. John McCain greets supporters as he arrives with running mate Sarah Palin, center, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at a campaign rally in O'Fallon, Mo., on August 31, 2008.

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    Bristol Palin, 17, holds her brother Trig during the campaign rally where Sen. John McCain introduced her mother as his vice presidential running mate in Dayton, Ohio, on Aug. 29, 2008.

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    An enthusiastic crowd greets Sarah Palin at the rally where Sen. John McCain introduced her as his running mate.

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    Palin and her family: son Track and husband Todd, in the back, daughters Willow and Bristol on each side and daughter Piper in the front.

    Alaska Governors Office via EPA / Alaska Governors Office via EPA
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    Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, seen here on Aug. 13, 2008, describes herself as a "hockey mom" and an occasional commercial fisherwoman. She oversees a state that’s hardly shy about admiring her swept-back hair and celebrated smile. Bumper stickers and blogs have proclaimed Alaska and Palin: "Coldest State, Hottest Governor."

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    Sarah Palin visits Army Pfc. John Kegley at a U.S. military medical center in Landstuhl, Germany, on July 26, 2007.

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    Sarah Palin chats with Alaska-based troops serving at a desert camp in Kuwait on July 25, 2007.

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    Laurie Serino, left, talks about high food and energy prices with Sarah Palin in Barrow, Alaska, on June 30, 2008. Palin had proposed that state lawmakers approve $1,200 emergency payments to Alaska residents to help deal with rising costs.

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    Sarah Palin and her husband Todd hold their baby boy, Trig, in Anchorage on April 23, 2008. Palin's fifth child was born with Down syndrome.

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    Appearing at the state elections office in Anchorage on March 14, 2008, Sarah Palin announces her endorsement of Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, center, in his run for Alaska's congressional seat. Parnell had just filed to run against incumbent Republican Don Young.

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    Typically seen in black or red power suits while reading text messages on Blackberrys in each hand, Sarah Palin has appeared in Vogue, the fashion magazine.

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    Sarah Palin is sworn in as Alaska's governor on Dec. 4, 2006, in Fairbanks. Alaska's first female governor, she took office on an ethics reform platform after defeating two former governors in the primary and general elections. Holding the Bible is her husband, Todd Palin.

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    Sarah Palin, along with one of her daughters, poses with the caribou she shot in Alaska. Palin grew up hunting and fishing and is a member of the National Rifle Association.

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    Sarah Palin, then Sarah Heath, worked as a news anchor in 1988 for KTUU-TV in Anchorage, Alaska.

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    Sarah Palin poses for a photo after she won the Miss Wasilla beauty pagent in 1984 in Wasilla, Alaska. She went on to compete in the Miss Alaska competition, where she finished as a runner-up.

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    Sarah Palin, a star basketball player in high school, stands with her brother, Chuck Heath, and sister, Heather Heath, in Wasilla, Alaska.

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    This undated photo provided by the Heath family shows Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, then Sarah Heath in Alaska.

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    This undated photo provided by the Heath family shows Sarah Palin, then Sarah Heath, holding shrimp her father, Chuck, caught in Skagway, Alaska, where he was a school teacher for 5 years.

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    This 1964 photo shows Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with her mother, Sally Heath, in Wasilla, Alaska. Palin was the first Alaskan to run on a national ticket.

    Heath Family via AP / Heath Family via AP

"This is not to be glamorized," she said. "This is not to be emulated … I didn't want that message getting out there that we were giddy happy to become grandparents."

She added that her daughter called her in tears and was "devastated" and "embarrassed" when her pregnancy became public.

The former Alaska governor was asked about being pregnant with her son Trig, who has Down's Syndrome. She said that she could understand why a woman would contemplate abortion.  

"It was easy to understand why a woman would feel that it's easier to just do away with some less than ideal circumstance, to do away with the problem," she said.

But the situation eventually stengthened her pro-life stance. "What I have been given is a gift," she said.

Levi Johnston
Palin did not respond to the criticism she's received from Levi Johnston, the father of her grandson, and denied rumors that Johnston and her daughter used to live together. She said it's “a bit heartbreaking” to see the road that he has taken, saying that it is "not a healthy place to be," referring to his plan to appear in Playgirl magazine.

"We don't want to mess up the gig he's doing: aspiring porn star," Palin cracked. "I also saw I didn't go to hockey games. There are so many untruths."

The new memoir doesn't contain any references to Johnston, who's sparred with his former mother-in-law-to-be.

The former Alaska governor and former Republican vice presidential candidate told Winfrey that Johnston has been busy with media tours and hasn't seen his son “for a while.”

Palin said she continues "to hope for the best and to pray for Levi" and that "this can all work out for good."

The infamous interview
When asked about her infamous interview with Katie Couric, Palin said that she was "annoyed" while speaking to Couric and said the way the interview was edited was partially to blame for how she was portrayed.

"I don't blame people for thinking I was not qualified," she said. "Her agenda was not neccessarily to show me in the best light."

She added that the McCain campaign gave her the green light to continue with the multi-part interview, even though she didn't feel she had done well.

"The campaign said, 'Right on, good!' ... if they thought it was a good interview, I don't know what a bad interview was."

Winfrey ended by asking Palin if she planned to host her own talk show. "Oprah, you are the queen of talk shows," she responded. "There's nothing to worry about."

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