“I apologize to those whom are disappointed in this decision… But I believe that they, when they take a step back, will understand why the decision was made and understand that really you don’t need a title to make a difference in this country,” Sarah Palin said on Fox New after closing the door to a 2012 presidential campaign.
The former Alaska governor, and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, ended months and months of speculation on Wednesday by announcing her decision not to throw her hat into the ring.
While she isn’t hitting the trail as a White House candidate, Palin clearly intends to remain a player on the political stage.
“In the coming weeks I will help coordinate strategies to assist in replacing the president, re-taking the Senate and maintaining the House,” she said in a statement posted on Facebook. She also says she’ll continue “driving the discussion for freedom and free market.”
Some Highlights from Palin’s flirtation with 2012 presidential race:
September 3, 2011 – Palin wows Tea Party of America rally in Indianola, Iowa, with what sounds like a campaign stump speech. It was widely anticipated that she’d use the speech to announce her candidacy. Two days later, she gave a speech at a Tea Party Express Rally in Manchester, New Hampshire.
August 12, 2011 – Palin makes a surprise stop at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines — scheduled neatly between a debate between declared Republican contenders and the Ames straw poll. It was her second high-profile trip of the summer to Iowa.
June 28, 2011 – Palin attends premiere of “The Undefeated,” a flattering documentary about her at the opera house in Pella, Iowa. She said she was still studying a potential presidential run, although her daughter said she had already made up her mind.
May 27, 2011 – Palin’s political action committee releases a video announcing her “One Nation” campaign-style bus tour . The tour stirs speculation that she might be preparing to jump into the race. Less than a month later, the bus was parked on what Real Clear Politics reported was an extended pit stop.
May 29, 2011 - Palin rolls into Washington on a Harley-Davidson for the annual Rolling Thunder rally to honor veterans, fueling speculation about a White House run.
Jan 12, 2011 -Palin accuses critics of “blood libel” for linking fiery campaign rhetoric to a mass shooting in Tucson in which Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords was severely wounded. Her eight-minute video is posted on YouTube on the same day President Obama delivers an address at a service honoring victims of the shooting.
November 14, 2010 - Palin’s reality TV series “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” premieres on cable television’s “The Learning Channel.”
September 28, 2010 – Palin is in the audience in a Los Angeles studio to support daughter Bristol, a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”
September 17, 2010 - Palin speaks at the Iowa Republican Party’s Ronald Reagan Dinner in Des Moines as her influence among Tea Party activists is on the rise.
August 29, 2010 - Palin joins Fox TV host Glenn Beck for a “Restoring Honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial urging a return to what they said were traditional American values of service to others and a belief in God.
June 23, 2010 - Palin’s “Mama Grizzlies” video is uploaded on YouTube. It looks and sounds like a political campaign ad – “Look out Washington, because there’s a whole stampede of pink elephants crossing and the e.t.a. for them stampeding through is November 2, 2010,” Palin says in the video. It raises questions about whether she intends to run for president.
November 18, 2009 – Palin opens cross-country tour promoting her memoir “Going Rogue: An American Life.”
July 3, 2009 - Palin resigns as Alaska’s governor with 18 months left in her term. Her decision, announced in a statement in her home town of Wasilla, Alaska, fuels speculation that she might be positioning herself for a presidential run in 2012.
January 2009 - Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC, is launched “dedicated to building America’s future by supporting fresh ideas and candidates who share our vision for reform and innovation.”