updated 11/24/2010 9:20:20 AM ET 2010-11-24T14:20:20

President Barack Obama says he respects Sarah Palin's political skills but hasn't thought about the possibility of facing her in the 2012 presidential election.

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Obama acknowledges that Palin "has a strong base of support in the Republican Party," but says he spends most of his time focused on being "the best possible president."

Palin's schedule hugs her base

In an interview taped Wednesday 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's considering a presidential run. When asked if she thought she could defeat Obama, the former Alaska governor replied, "I believe so."

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