The Note: Grounded Control

Does that mean a Palin plan for 2012? "Sarah Palin makes plain that, should McCain fall short, she intends to stay involved in national politics in the years ahead," Politico's Jonathan Martin writes.

"The comments fueled speculation that has been building over the past week that Mrs. Palin has gone 'rogue' and is looking past the current election to her own political future," Jon Ward writes in the Washington Times.

Pushback from the campaign: "It's just, I think, beyond the pale. I think it's a time for us, as this campaign builds an occasionally acknowledged but real momentum toward a very fast-approaching deadline of Election Day, that this record get corrected. Get corrected very directly, and that some standards of fairness and accuracy be met," said senior adviser Tucker Eskew.

Her plans for 2012? "To help John McCain and his re-election," says Eskew.

Palin tells Vargas that she's not impugning Obama's patriotism: "[I'm] not calling him un-American. There is nothing wrong, though, with calling someone out on their record, their associations. . . . I am sure that Senator Obama cares as much for this country as McCain does. Now McCain has a strong, solid track record . . . "

Does she want any do-overs? "I can't think of anything."

(On the expensive wardrobe -- she says she never saw a final bill, and the clothes were essentially borrowed: "It was convenient, because we showed up for the convention with overnight bags, so it was convenient to have some tools there to borrow.")

On the situation on the plane -- everyone's happy as clams: "Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin tried to tamp down reports about internal dissent in the McCain campaign, telling the Wall Street Journal Tuesday: 'I laugh at 'em,' " per the Journal's Elizabeth Holmes.

"I have nothing but praise for those involved in this campaign," Palin said. "Until any reporter can give me a name of any legitimate source that is criticizing, I will never believe that even the complaints -- the criticism -- is coming from within the campaign."

(Ask Walt Monegan how well things turn out once she has a name.)

Did they make up? "Don't be surprised to see maligned McCain campaign adviser Nicolle Wallace rejoining GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on her campaign plane very soon," per The Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers. "We're told Palin personally called Wallace last night to smooth things over and, more importantly, stop the campaign from totally imploding."

Obama's thinking about the future, too: He tells ABC's Charlie Gibson that he wants a bipartisan Cabinet, a second stimulus bill, and Democrats who "come in with some modesty and humility" in January.

Robert Gates, staying on at Defense? "I'm not going to get into details, but I can guarantee you that it is important for us, particularly when it comes to national security, to return to a tradition of nonpartisan national security," Obama tells Gibson.

And if he doesn't win? "I'm a relatively young man. You know, they say that there are no second acts in politics, but, you know, I think there are enough exceptions out there that I could envision returning to the Senate and just doing some terrific work with the next president and the next Congress."

McCain's making a late turn back to national security -- and a few professors are in his spotlight.

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