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I won't be running for White House -- Palin

FORMER governor of Alaska Sarah Palin has announced that she will not run for president in the US.

After months of leaving her fans guessing, the former Republican vice presidential nominee said in a statement that she and her husband Todd "devote ourselves to God, family and country." She said her decision maintains that order.

Palin sent the statement to supporters.

She told conservative radio host Mark Levin that she would not consider a minor party candidacy because it would assure Barack Obama's re-election.

In a video on YouTube, she said: "you don't need an office or a title to make a difference".

Palin's announcement was much anticipated but not greatly surprising. Her popularity had plummeted in polls lately, even though she remained a darling to many hard-core conservatives. Some Republicans felt she waited and teased too long about a presidential candidacy.

Some remained perplexed by her decision to quit her job as governor with more than a year left in her single term.

Republican insiders say the field is now set.

It includes former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas governor Rick Perry, whom party insiders see as the strongest contenders. Libertarian-leaning Ron Paul of Texas continues to draw a devoted following and former pizza company executive Herman Cain has gained in recent polls.

Voting will start in about three months.