Sarah Palin Says She Could Beat Obama

Palin tells Barbara Walters she is seriously considering 2012 White House run.

November 17, 2010, 10:30 AM

Nov. 17, 2010 -- Sarah Palin says she is seriously considering a run for the White House, and she believes she could beat President Obama in 2012, the former Alaska governor told ABC News' Barbara Walters.

"I'm looking at the lay of the land now, and ... trying to figure that out, if it's a good thing for the country, for the discourse, for my family, if it's a good thing," Palin said in an interview scheduled to air in full Dec. 9 on ABC as part of Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People" of 2010.

Asked Walters: "If you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?"

"I believe so," Palin said.

Watch the full Sarah Palin interview Dec. 9 at 10 p.m. on "Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People"

Although Palin remains undecided about whether to run, the 2008 vice presidential nominee has now made clear in two interviews this week that she is seriously considering it.

In a profile to be published in the upcoming New York Times Magazine, Palin told reporter Robert Draper "I am," when asked if she was weighing a 2012 run. "I'm engaged in the internal deliberations candidly, and having that discussion with my family, because my family is the most important consideration here."

Palin said her decision would involve "evaluating whether she could bring unique qualities to the table," admitting the biggest challenge would be proving her record.

"I know that a hurdle I would have to cross, that some other potential candidates wouldn't have to cross right out of the chute, is proving my record," the former Alaska governor told Draper. "That's the most frustrating thing for me -- the warped and perverted description of my record and what I've accomplished over the last two decades.

"It's been much more perplexing to me than where the lamestream media has wanted to go about my personal life. And other candidates haven't faced these criticisms the way I have."

Palin also addressed criticisms that, by avoiding the media, she is partially responsible for the public's perception of her. "I'm on television nearly every single day with reporters. ... Now granted, that's mainly through my job at Fox News, and I'm very proud to be associated with them, but I'm not avoiding anything or anybody.

"I'm on Facebook and Twitter. I'm out there. I want to talk about my record, though."

The 2008 vice presidential nominee also recognized that, "yes, the organization would have to change. … I'd have to bring in more people -- more people who are trustworthy."

Draper's story, "The Palin Network," details the inner workings of the Palin political machine, which Draper described as a "guerrilla organization."

"The issue of trust informs Sarah Palin's every dealing with the world beyond Wasilla since her circular-firing-squad experience at the close of the 2008 presidential campaign," Draper wrote. "Her inner circle shuns the media and would speak to me only after Palin authorized it, a process that took months.

"They are content to labor in a world without hierarchy or even job descriptions -- 'None of us has titles,' [Palin's political adviser Andrew] Davis said -- and where the adhesive is a personal devotion to Palin rather than the furtherance of her political career."

'There Is No Uber-Strategy'

The lengthy profile (7, 812 words) is accompanied by a cover photo, first obtained by Politico, showing Palin surrounded by a range of advisers, including lawyer Thomas Van Flein, "cybermessenger" Rebecca Mansour, husband Todd and Washington lawyer Robert Barnett, among others.

"The reality is that Palin's direction is determined almost entirely by her instincts -- or, as [Palin's friend and former White House aide to Presidents Nixon and Ford] Fred Malek puts it, 'There is no über-strategy.' She did not game out a path forward when agreeing to two book deals with HarperCollins and then signing on with the Washington Speakers Bureau, Fox and then her television series.

"That same mind-set explains the lack of cohesion to Palin's virtual organization. As [SarahPAC treasurer Tim] Crawford, Van Flein, Davis and Mansour concur, the inhabitants of Palin World have loosely defined duties and thus invariably play outside their lanes."

Draper went on to write "there is no chief of staff -- though 'there's been discussion,' Van Flein says, 'because the logistics are overwhelming and the demand is phenomenal.' Nor, since [Communications Director Meghan] Stapleton departed in February, does Palin have a press person -- with the result that up to eight or nine of her functionaries will find themselves fielding (and usually pocket-vetoing) media requests at any one time.

"Just as Palin heavily edits or at times completely writes most of her own speeches and insists on reviewing any statement issued by SarahPAC, she also must approve all media contact by her subordinates, Van Flein told me."

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