Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin could be a good president, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Thursday in an interview with ABC's "Nightline."

The former Republican governor and potential presidential candidate said he had a long way to go before as many people knew his name as they do Sarah Palin's.

"I've got a long way to go to get people to even know my name, much less worrying about whether I could beat, you know, the force of nature that is Sarah Palin," Pawlenty said.

The interview comes a few weeks after Pawlenty concluded a national tour to publicize his new book, "Courage to Stand: An American Story" which will be available Jan. 11.

During the interview, Pawlenty described Palin as "a friend" who is fully capable to compete for the presidency and serve as a competent commander in chief.

"If she wanted to compete for the presidency, I think she has the tools to do it," Pawlenty said. "You don't know what's going to happen two years from now in politics."

As for the former Minnesota governor's own presidential chances, Pawlenty said he was mulling a run and would probably make a decision in the coming months. 

"I'll make the final decision and an announcement about running for president probably in March-April time frame," Pawlenty said.