Palin: I'd run for president 'if nobody else wanted to step up'

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) said she'd "offer [her]self up" as a presidential candidate in 2012, if no other solid Republican candidate stepped forward.

Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, described the circumstances under which she'd run for president, hinting that the conservative figurehead might actually jump in the race to challenge President Obama in two years.

"A reason to run is if nobody else were to step up with the solutions that are needed to get the economy back on the right track and to be so committed to our national security that they are going to do all that they can, including fighting those on the extreme left who seem to want to dismantle some of our national security tools that we have in place," Palin said Wednesday evening on Fox News.

"If nobody else wanted to step up ... I would offer myself up in the name of service to the public," Palin added.

Palin's built up a base of political support through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter since having resigned as governor in the summer of 2009. She's written a pair of books and has barnstormed the country on behalf of conservative primary candidates this year.

She's taken a trip to Iowa, though she skipped over some of the traditional customs in which potential presidential candidates engage while in the Hawkeye State. Her political action committee, SarahPAC, also released a video earlier this week in which Palin praises the conservative Tea Party movement as "the future of politics."

But Palin's also managed to build a national profile and lucrative personal brand since leaving office, both of which might be exposed to greater scrutiny if she were to formally become a candidate for president. She acknowledged her comfortable life currently, which could represent a hedge against the chances that she runs in 2012.

"I also know that anybody can make a huge difference in this country without a title, without an office, just being out there as an advocate for solutions that can work to get the country on the right track. And that's where I am now," she said. "It's a comfortable place to be. And if my candidacy wasn't good for my family, if it wasn't good for the common sense conservative agenda that needs to be adhered to, then certainly I wouldn't run."