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9 Presidential Flirts

How many ways can a politician say “no”—while still leaving the door open to a presidential run?

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The Attention Seeker: Sarah Palin

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Palin Iowa

Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo

Unlike Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin doesn’t want for supporters. At this point, however, the smart money says she’ll stay out of the 2012 race. Still, the former Alaska governor loves the spotlight, so she’s refused to slam the door. She’s visited states like Iowa repeatedly, teasing backers with opaque language: “This is why we must remember that the challenge is not simply to replace Obama in 2012, but the real challenge is who and what we will replace him with.” Just this week, an adviser sent out a solicitation for donations, writing that Palin is “on the verge of making her decision of whether or not to run for office.” Palin knows that when and if she declares herself out, the media attention will dry up—so she’s in no hurry to tamp down the speculation.

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