Stephen M. Silverman
November 11, 2008 07:50 AM

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has a very different post-campaign message about her onetime opponent.

Barack Obama, the former GOP vice-presidential candidate told Matt Lauer on Tuesday’s Today show, “did a great job to articulate his ability to usher in change.”

Despite this, Palin initially thought last week’s Presidential election results “would be closer,” were it not for the fact there was an “anti-incumbency sentiment across the country” and “we had the R [for Republican] next to our names.”

Even so, as late as election night she thought she and John McCain would be the victors. “I didn’t know,” she said. “I had great faith.”

Equally surprising, she said, is the barrage of recent criticism that has come her way from unnamed sources within the McCain campaign, in which she has been labeled both a “rogue” and a “diva.”

“All anonymous sources,” she said, also diffusing the argument that she overspent on her wardrobe – a path Palin has been down before. Monday night she told FOX News, “I did not order the clothes, did not ask for the clothes. I would have been happy to have worn my own clothes from Day One.”

‘Great Relationship’

She confirmed to Lauer, however, that she had prepared a speech on election night but was not permitted to deliver it. She said that her words spoke of John McCain as a great American hero.

As for any purported tension between Palin and her running mate, as was also reported in the final days of the campaign, Palin countered, “We have a great relationship had from Day One.”

Asked who might have circulated rumors of a rift between the two, Palin replied, “I honestly do not know, because it’s not true, Matt. I have nothing but admiration for him and his family.”

Even as the campaign wore on, she said, “Never once was there an inkling of tension.” Her relationship with McCain, she said, is “warm, friendly and professional.”

Palin’s husband, “First Dude” Todd Palin, told Lauer that should there be any future campaigns in his wife’s future, he would be along for the ride.

Regarding the effect this last campaign had on her family – included the rumor that her mom-to-be daughter Bristol was being forced to marry boyfriend Levi Johnston under pressure from party handlers – Palin said, “Lots of rumors, lots of speculation. When those darts and arrows started flying, I knew we were on the right path.”

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