Matt Lauer interviewed Sarah Palin during her stint as co-host of the TODAY show. (NBC)
NEW YORK -- Former GOP vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor Sarah Palin has one bit of advice for the GOP ticket: "Don't play it safe."
But Palin did just that on TODAY Tuesday when she hedged on endorsing a candidate in the Republican contest - even as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney appears likely to clinch the nomination.
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Matt Lauer pressed Palin, who since her national debut during the 2008 elections has become a poster girl for vocal conservatives, to say whether she'd endorse Romney.
"Anything is still possible, but the numbers are what the numbers are," Palin said, adding, "Anybody running on that GOP ticket would be better than Obama."
But when asked whether she would prefer to see a candidate with a bit more vim and vigor on the ticket, Palin cautioned: "There is no perfect candidate, and I would warn individuals never to put their faith wholly in a politician because that politician will disappoint you."
Palin would know.
The former Wasilla mayor and Alaska governor was plucked from relative obscurity during the 2008 elections after operatives for Republican nominee John McCain realized the so-called "mama grizzly" resonated well with conservatives. Palin and her family were thrust into the harsh glare of the national spotlight.
And that spotlight was not kind. The Palin family weathered criticism over daughter Bristol's pregnancy and spending over clothes for the campaign trail.
Palin found herself in a political arena where expectations were high.
And she seemed unprepared - something Tina Fey famously poked fun at during a series of "Saturday Night Live" skits.
Palin struggled to answer questions about foreign policy. When Katie Couric famously asked Palin what newspapers she read, the former governor was unable to name any national publications.
On Tuesday morning, Palin and Couric had a network face-off. Palin guest-hosting the 8 a.m. hour for TODAY and Couric is hosting "Good Morning America" this week.
For her part, Palin focused on what she sees as President Barack Obama's failures in the White House. Though the economy is making a slow comeback, Palin, like House Speaker John Boehner, who appeared on TODAY last week, feels that recovery "could be a lot better."
And she offered a bit of caution for whoever ends up heading up the GOP ticket: "Doesn't matter they're going to get clobbered by the lame stream media"
Lauer reminded Palin that as a TODAY show co-host, she's "part of the lame stream media."