This story contains the transcript of two exclusive interviews with Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin conducted over two days by ABC News' Charlie Gibson on Thursday, September 11 and Friday, September 12.
To view excerpts from the second interview also conducted in Fairbanks, Alaska, on September 11, 2008, click here and to view excerpts from the third interview conducted at the Palin home in Wasilla, Alaska, on September 12, click here.
The following set of excerpts immediately below are from the first Gibson-Palin interview on September 11, 2008 in Fairbanks, Alaska. Excerpts from the second interview follows and are labeled as such.
GIBSON: Governor, let me start by asking you a question that I asked John McCain about you, and it is really the central question.
Can you look the country in the eye and say "I have the experience and I have the ability to be not just vice president, but perhaps president of the United States of America?"
PALIN: I do, Charlie, and on January 20, when John McCain and I are sworn in, if we are so privileged to be elected to serve this country, we'll be ready. I'm ready.
GIBSON: When McCain asked you to take the number two spot on the ticket, for a moment, did you think no?
PALIN: I did not. I thought yes right off the bat, knowing that John McCain was looking for a reformer, a partner in this mission of his to change Washington, D.C. and to usher in positive change across our country.
I knew that he was looking for someone who shared his world view even on the war and on how important it is to be victorious in this war. So knowing that, when he offered me the position as his running mate, the first thing I said to him was, "Do you really think that I could help the ticket? Do you really think that I could help this country? Absolutely, I want to do this with you."
GIBSON: And you didn't say to yourself, "Am I experienced enough? Am I ready? Do I know enough about international affairs? Do I -- will I feel comfortable enough on the national stage to do this?"
PALIN: I didn't hesitate, no.
GIBSON: Doesn't that take some hubris?
PALIN: I -- I answered him yes because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can't blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we're on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can't blink. So I didn't blink then even when asked to run as his running mate.
GIBSON: Governor, how does six years as the mayor of a small town and less than two years as governor of a sparsely populated state give you sufficient experience to perhaps be president?
PALIN: Remember, again, what John McCain was looking for in a running mate -- someone who has a track record of reform, someone who doesn't just talk the talk, but has proven that she can walk the walk with reform.
That's what I did in that small town as the mayor, as the manager of a community, and what I have done as the governor of the state of Alaska, just not accepting status quo and politics as usual when it wasn't in the best interest of our state. Remember that that is who he was looking for, a partner in reform, and knowing that that is the way I'm wired, that is my commitment, also, I think he made the right decision there in his partner.