Sarah Palin said she's still optimistic that she and John McCain will win on Tuesday, but also suggested that she might try to be at the top of the Republican ticket in four years if they lose.
"I think that, if I were to give up and wave a white flag of surrender against some of the political shots that we've taken, that would bring this whole … I'm not doing this for naught," she said in excerpts ABC News released this evening of an interview that will air in full on "Good Morning America" on Thursday and on "20/20" on Friday night.
She also said that she's "thinking that it's going to go our way on Tuesday, Nov. 4. I truly believe that the wisdom of the people will be revealed on that day."
Still, even contemplating a loss and her political future after that is not typical of vice presidential nominees, and the latest instance of Palin straying off message and creating tension within the McCain campaign. Unnamed McCain advisers have been quoted in recent days calling her a "diva" and a "whack job."
McCain, however, says tonight on CNN's "Larry King Live" that the reports of dissension are "nonsense."
"We get along fine," he says, according to a transcript provided by CNN. "Sarah's a maverick. I'm a maverick. No one expected us to agree on everything....We have disagreements on some specifics. But, we share the same values, the same principles, the same goals for this country."
Since McCain made her a surprise pick as his running mate, Palin has become a favorite of conservative Republicans, but polls show she has turned independents and moderates away from McCain.
In the CNN interview, McCain also says that he didn't realize that she would be so "controversial." "But, I got to tell you, every time I'm around her, I'm uplifted," he adds. "This is a solid, dedicated, reformer. A fine governor. The most popular governor in America. She ignites crowds in a way that -- I got to be honest with you -- and I'm not a immodest person. But, I haven't seen a candidate ignite people the way that Sarah Palin has."
King presented a scenario where McCain was president, but was out of the country when the United States was attacked.
"How much confidence do you have in vice president Palin?" King asked.
"Total," McCain replied.
"She has the instincts, she shares my world view...Look, I would remind you that there was a obscure governor from Arkansas, that not too many years ago that gained the presidency. And he had no national security experience," he said, referring to Bill Clinton.
"Sarah Palin understands these issues. She understands them very well. And frankly, with a lot of conversations that I've had with her, she's incredibly quick study. She not only would take over. She would inspire Americans. That's what I think she would do. She would unite the country in a time crisis."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.