WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2010— -- In an exclusive interview with Barbara Walters from the White House, President Barack Obama says he's not giving much thought to the 2012 election, but is focusing instead on being "the best possible president." And, he said, he certainly isn't focused on a potential challenge from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
When asked specifically if he thinks he can beat Sarah Palin in 2012, the president told Walters "I don't think about Sarah Palin."
"Obviously Sarah Palin has a strong base of support in the Republican Party and I respect those skills," Obama said. "But I spend most of my time right now on how I can be the best possible president. And my attitude has always been, from the day I started this job that if I do a good job and if I'm delivering for the American people the politics will take care of itself.
"If I falter and the American people are dissatisfied, then I'll have problems," he said.
The interview, which also included first lady Michelle Obama, covered a wide range of topics including the recent events in North Korea, the latest controversies over TSA screenings in airports, the "shellacking" his party took in the 2010 midterms, the economy, and, of course, Thanksgiving traditions.
(P.S. Michelle Obama says it's OK to eat what you want on Thanksgiving. "Don't worry about how much you eat. Just enjoy it," she told Walters. "This is the time. Have pie.")
The full interview, "A Barbara Walters Special: A Thanksgiving Visit with President and Mrs. Obama," will air Friday, Nov. 26 at 10 p.m. ET.