Palin to announce 2012 plans by the end of summer

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin outlined a time frame for a possible run for president, telling Fox News Wednesday that she'll make a decision by the end of the summer.

"Legally, of course, there are time frames. That time is coming rapidly in front of all of us," Palin told Fox host Sean Hannity, who asked when she would announce her decision. "August and September you do have to start laying out a plan if you are to be one to throw your hat in the ring. So that's basically the time frame."

Speculation over a possible Palin 2012 run basically began the day after Election Day 2008. The former vice presidential candidate has hinted at her interest in joining the race for months, and her daughter Bristol said last month that her mother had "definitely" made up her mind about whether she's running. You can watch Palin's exchange with Hannity in the video above.

Despite her absence on the campaign trail, Palin continues to rank at the top of national presidential polls. A national Quinnipiac University survey released this week showed Palin in third place behind Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann.

In a Newsweek article published last week, Palin expressed confidence that she could beat President Obama.

"I did say in that article that I believed that I could win, and then I went on to say that it doesn't have to be me," she said on Fox. "I'm not so egotistical as to believe that it can only be me to turn this country around."

But Palin left the door wide open for a campaign, suggesting that the current GOP field of contenders still lacks the right candidate for the job.