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We are not among the two-fifths of Republican voters nationwide who have ruled out Sarah Palin as a presidential choice (those numbers are from a new Pew poll released on Thursday, by the way).

How could we be?

For starters, we’re not Republicans. Nor are we even really voters (at least not recently).

Aside from all of that, though, we honestly see potential in Palin … and not just in the sack … or in her choice of footwear … or in the choice of footwear that she could conceivably wear in the sack (in our overactive and filthy imaginations).

No … we’re being serious here. And while we understand all of the criticism directed toward Palin (much of it legitimate), at this point she’s not among those would-be GOP presidential hopefuls that we would automatically rule out (you know … like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney or former U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich, for example).

Frankly, we think that says a lot about us, considering some of the not-so-nice things Palin has said previously about our founding editor (albeit without knowing allthedetails).

What can we say, though … we don’t hold grudges. Particularly not when “Mothers I’d Like to Fahrvergnügen” are involved.

“Palin’s ability to arouse fiscal conservatives (in more ways than one) is impressive – and if she’s able to craft a coherent fiscal policy and channel that base of support behind it, watch out,” we wrote back in February in our “First in the South Impressions” piece.

We still believe that to be the case.

But Palin had better hurry up and figure out what she’s doing … and very shortly thereafter she better figure out what that coherent fiscal policy is going to be.

With the notable exception of Ron Paul, the 2012 presidential race has been depressingly devoid of substance. And while she has yet to become a candidate (and would face serious obstacles in the event she does become a candidate), that lack of substance represents a major opening for someone like Palin.

Wait … Palin?

Yes, Palin.

For starters, she doesn’t have the extensive policy baggage of candidates like Romney or Gingrich. And believe it or not, Palin can be a substantive political figure – like when she forced U.S. President Barack Obama into a major gaffe simply by offering an articulate, well-timed criticism of his energy policy (or lack thereof).

The way we figure, if she’s got the “substantive criticism” club in her bag … then it stands to reason that she could find a “substantive solution” club, too.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen no indication that this sort of Palin metamorphosis is in the works. And while we hate to agree with anything said by a RINO gas bag like Karl Rove – he is correct in stating that Palin does have incredibly thin skin.

What do we man? Well, at key moments in her recent political evolution when she could have risen above the din, she chose to get sucked into the noise instead.

In fact, it seems as though she almost relishes becoming overly self-righteous in response to criticism … which is an unfortunate trait, especially in an election like this one.

We’re not giving up on Palin yet, but if she wants to be seriously considered as a legitimate presidential candidate – she had better hurry up and get serious herself.