WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama says he respects Sarah Palin's political skills but has not thought about the possibility of facing the former Republican vice presidential candidate in the 2012 presidential election.
Obama acknowledges that Palin "has a strong base of support in the Republican Party," but he says he spends most of his time focused on being "the best possible president."
In an interview taped Tuesday with ABC's Barbara Walters, the president says that if he does a good job, "the politics will take care of itself."
Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, told Walters last week that she is considering a presidential run. When asked if she thought she could defeat Obama, the former Alaska governor replied, "I believe so."
On Wednesday, Palin responded to mild criticism from the George H.W. Bush family by saying: "I don't think the majority of Americans want to put up with the blue bloods -- and I say it with all due respect, because I love the Bushes -- but the blue bloods who want to pick and chose their winners."
She made the comment on Laura Ingraham's radio show after the elder former President Bush said former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is his favorite potential Republican presidential contender, and former first lady Barbara Bush said she hopes Palin stays in Alaska.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain stunned the political world in 2008 by choosing Palin, a little-known governor, to run with him against Obama, the Democratic candidate.