Sarah Palin: I Want to Play a Major Role in National Politics, 'If People Will Have Me'

The former governor wouldn't directly address the burning question of whether she wants to be the president, but she did not completely close that door either.

"That certainly isn't on my radar screen right now," said Palin. "[But] when you consider some of the ordinary turning into extraordinary events that have happened in my life, I am not one to predict what will happen in a few years."

"My ambition if you will, my desire, is to help our country in whatever role that may be, and I cannot predict what that will be, what doors would be open in the year 2012," she said.

As for whether she will play a major role, Palin replied, "If people will have me, I will."

Her daughters certainly think their mom will make a good president. When asked if they would like to see her as president one day, 15-year-old Willow replied: "That'd be cool," a sentiment echoed by her younger sister, Piper, 8.

And as Palin wrote, her father summed it up best when he said his daughter is "not retreating. She's reloading."

Palin defended her decision to quit as Alaska's governor, saying it was best for her state.

"I was heading into a lame duck session, that final year in office, and most normal politicians, what they do, knowing that they're not going to run again, they're in that lame duck ... that, that situation, they milk it. They collect the paycheck. My administration was inundated, and paralyzed by those who were filing these frivolous lawsuits, and, and, um, ethics violation charges. And it was unfair to Alaskans. So I knew that what we were doing was right," Palin said.

Palin has taken heat even from within her own party.

In October, McCain's chief campaign strategist Steve Schmidt said Palin "would not be a winning candidate for the Republican party in 2012," adding, "Were she to be the nominee, we could have a catastrophic election result."

Palin told Walters she is not surprised at the comment.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion," Palin said. "I know [the] truth, and I'm fine with who I am and where I am."

Palin: McCain Aides Kept Her All 'Bottled Up'

In her book, Palin portrays herself as a free spirit who fell victim to political operatives who tried to shut her up. But as the title, "Going Rogue," suggests, the former beauty queen isn't just back, she's stirring the political stew and settling scores from last year's blistering loss.

In her book, Palin paints herself as an independent spirit who was muzzled once she joined the GOP ticket. She claims that Sen. John McCain's senior aides -- to the campaign's disadvantage -- tried to shut her up.

But asked whether the outcome of the campaign would have been different had she been allowed to speak more freely, Palin said no.

"The economy tanked. Electorate was ready, sincerely, for change. But no, I don't think that had I been able to bust out and really say what I felt. No, I don't think that that would've changed the outcome," Palin told ABC News.

Throughout the book, Palin complains about being "handled and packaged." She writes that the McCain camp told her what to wear, when she could talk to the press, when she couldn't, what to say and where to go. Schmidt, she writes, told her to "stick with the script."

"Things kind of came to a head at one point, where I told Steve Schmidt, 'Really, you gotta let me say what, what I wanna say. You gotta let me speak from the heart on some of these issues,'" Palin told ABC News.

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