VIDEO:Sarah Palin finally confirms she will not run for US President in 2012
AFTER months of teasing Republican voters, Sarah Palin has finally confirmed she will not be a candidate in next year's US presidential election.
The former Governor of Alaska said on Wednesday that "after much prayer and serious consideration", she had decided not to stand for the Republican nomination, but would increase her efforts to oust Barack Obama.
"Not being a candidate, you are unshackled and able to be even more active," she told a radio talk show. "I look forward to using all the tools at my disposal to get the right people in there."
Mrs Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2008, was once expected to run for the White House after becoming a figurehead for the anti-government Tea Party movement.
She has made millions of dollars from two blockbuster books, a reality television show and public appearances. Earlier this year she held a "One Nation" bus tour along the east coast of the US.
But it became widely assumed that she had missed her opportunity by repeatedly teasing voters about her intentions while several other Republican heavyweights firmly declared their candidacies.
The 47-year-old, a mother of five, said in a statement: "*As always, my family comes first", adding that she and her husband Todd had "put great consideration into family life before making this decision".
But ultimately she conceded: "I believe at this time I can be more effective in a role to help elect other true public servants to office, from the nation's governors to congressional seats and the Presidency".
Mrs Palin's decision appeared to complete the Republican field. It came the day after the Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, confirmed that he would not be seeking the party's nomination.
It left Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts, and Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas, as the two clear frontrunners.
Mrs Palin surprised observers by making her announcement on a low-profile radio programme rather than on Fox News, the television channel that pays her $1 million (€750,000) a year as a talking head.
Her decision came on the same day Roger Ailes, the channel's chairman, said in an interview that he had hired her "because she was hot and got ratings."