Five thousand debates, 3 million hours of television coverage and enough stories to test the capacity of the Internet mean one thing to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin: not enough information to evaluate the crop of Republican presidential contenders. This is one player who needs to see more vetting and more exploration of the issues before she’d do anything like issue an endorsement in the race.

Palin discussed this dearth of information yesterday in an appearance with Shannon Bream on Fox News. Along the way, she showed just what caliber of political analyst Fox is paying for. Palin noted that Rick Perry has “money in his coffers”; that Ron Paul has “loyal, hard-working patriots” who like Paul’s wrestling with “the domestic spending crisis”; that Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum are “known by many as the conservatives”; that Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich will likely remain front-runners for some time.

But where Palin really went into depth was on the topic of herself. Bream inquired, “At what point will you endorse someone, if you do plan to?”

“You know, my endorsement is going to be with sincerity and enthusiasm. And I am just not there yet, Shannon, with the field as it stands. And there’s no need to endorse until that enthusiasm really is within me, in my gut. And I also believe that my endorsement, and anybody else’s, really doesn’t amount to a hill of beans when you consider independent thinking and the wisdom of the voters — they make up their own mind and personal endorsement doesn’t always help shape the race, so I don’t put that kind of credence or credibility in my endorsement at all. But as soon as I feel that that person who understands the fiscal crisis especially that America faces and knows what to do about it, then I will feel that enthusiasm and I will endorse, but I’m not ready yet.”

No one knows how to beg a question quite like Sarah Palin. Bream, on cue, followed up: “Do you think that person does exist in the field as it now stands?”

We’ll see. I honestly don’t know yet. The debates are good. The vetting via the media and via each candidate in their own way through the debates is good for voters, it’s good for us to be able to know more of the person’s experience their goals for the nation and what it is that they have to offer. So as the process continues, more vetting will take place and we’ll all be able to make a good choice.

That’s what she said. Now for a look at what she was likely thinking:

We’ll see. I honestly don’t know yet, even though we know everything there is to know about these people. The debates are good. The vetting via the media and via each candidate in their own way through the debates is good for voters. It’s good for us to be able to know more of the person’s experience and their goals for the nation and what it is that they have to offer. So as the process continues, more vetting will take place, and hopefully the process will lay waste to the entire field and conservatives across the land will clamor for me. Thanks, Shannon.