Obama said he is concentrating on being "the best possible president" rather than the 2012 election, ABC News said in a preview of the conversation.
"Obviously Sarah Palin has a strong base of support in the Republican Party, and I respect those skills," he said. "But I spend most of my time right now on how I can be the best possible president. And my attitude has always been from the day I started this job that if I do a good job and if I'm delivering for the American people the politics will take care of itself."
The interview, which included first lady Michelle Obama, ranged from the strife between North and South Korea to airport screening, the midterm elections, the economy, and Thanksgiving traditions.
Michelle Obama said it's fine to eat what you want on Thanksgiving.
"Don't worry about how much you eat. Just enjoy it," she said. "This is the time. Have pie."
"A Barbara Walters Special: A Thanksgiving Visit with President and Mrs. Obama," is to air Friday at 10 p.m. EST.
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