"Don't expect to see her do many more ... the McCain campaign knows they will pay a price for keeping Gov. Palin from the national press -- but they also know that price is worth paying if it buys them insurance against her giving a disqualifying answer to a legitimate question."
During the sometimes tense interview, Palin appeared to stick closely to rehearsed answers that she sometimes repeated.
She said she didn't hesitate in accepting McCain's offer to run as his vice presidential nominee.
"I answered him 'yes,' because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can't blink," Palin told Gibson. "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."
While Palin exceeded expectations in her acceptance speech at the Republican convention last week, she has only spoken a handful of times and never faced a series of unscripted questions.
The ABC interviews are the first time Palin, the former small town mayor turned first-term Alaska governor, agreed to answer questions from any member of the news media since becoming the Republican vice presidential candidate two weeks ago.
Since then Palin has transformed into a Republican phenomenon, reinvigorating Sen. John McCain's presidential bid, energizing the GOP base and being credited with shifting white women's support from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to McCain.
With the stakes high, Palin has been working with a team of former advisers to President Bush to cram for a series of media interviews, including an upcoming interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News and her Oct. 2 debate against Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Joe Biden.
The Republican vice presidential candidate this week was seen carrying index cards with talking points, and briefing books on energy, foreign relations and the budget, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Veteran political pundit Cokie Roberts said that Palin's preparation paid off in the interview.
"She committed no major gaffes," Roberts, an ABC News contributor, said.
"The McCain campaign is perhaps heaving a huge sigh of relief today because all her preparation appears to have paid off," Roberts said.
The highly anticipated interview was widely watched on ABC News and the ABCNews.com Web site, rivaling ABC's audiences for former Sen. John Edwards' interview admitting he had an extra-martial affair, the coverage of the Mark Foley congressional intern scandal and the shootings at Virginia Tech.
Almost 10 million people tuned in to "World News With Charles Gibson" Thursday to watch.
ABC's "Nightline," which featured the second of Gibson's three interviews with Palin, beat CBS' "Letterman" and NBC's "Leno," according to Nielsen overnight ratings. ABCNews.com has nearly 3 million page views and up to 700,000 video views of the Palin interviews.
Newspaper reporters from across the country delivered a mixed review of Palin's performance.
She "presented a confident face in what was considered an important early test of her knowledge of foreign affairs," according to The Boston Globe.