Sarah Palin in Newsweek: "I can win"

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hasn’t yet revealed whether she plans to run for the GOP presidential nomination, but she’s confident she could win if she really wanted.

“I believe that I can win a national election,” Palin said recently in a conversation with Newsweek’s Peter J. Boyer. “I’m not so egotistical as to believe that it has to be me, or it can only be me, to turn things around. But I do believe that I can win.”

Perhaps her popularity among Republicans and conservatives warrants that pretty impressive confidence (after all, a countless many continue to clamor for her entrance into the presidential race), but, for whatever the polls are worth, Palin hasn’t yet bested President Barack Obama in a hypothetical presidential match-up (at least that I’ve seen). But, then, of the present GOP candidates, only former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has fared favorably against the incumbent, anyway, so maybe Palin has a point. If anything, the utter lack of cockiness among the current Republican contenders (with, again, the possible exception of Romney, who was cool and confident recently to suggest the firing of an Obama economic adviser) might be just what has caused so many to describe this year’s field as “dullsville.” Maybe the Palin presumption is what this race needs. Maybe, with Palin competing for the nomination, the other Republicans would kick it into even higher gear.

Fortunately for Palin (as she herself recognizes) and probably for the GOP, it’s still very early and the field is far from set.

“Thank goodness the field is not yet set,” Palin said in the interview with Newsweek. “I think that there does need to be more vigorous debate. There needs to be a larger field. And there’s still time. There’s still months ahead, where more folks can jump in and start articulating their positions.”

But, if she’s going to get in, I wish she’d get in now, so folks would stop evaluating her non-campaign-campaign tactics and start talking again about her policy positions (which, at least as she laid them out in the Newsweek article, are as solid as ever).