Former GOP adviser suggests people worried about Palin's sanity in 2008

NEW YORK - MAY 04: Sarah Palin speaks onstage at Time's 100 most influential people in the world gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 4, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Time Inc) *** Local Caption *** Sarah Palin
Jemal Countess
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
Jemal Countess

Former Sarah Palin adviser Nicolle Wallace has long had a contentious public relationship with the former Alaska governor, but the politico-turned-novelist takes it to the next level with her new book, "It's Classified" - a novel about a mentally unstable vice presidential candidate who she says Sarah Palin inspired.

In a recent interview with Time magazine, Wallace, who advised Palin on the 2008 campaign trail, notes that the book is a work of fiction - but she says "It's Classified," which is based on the "idea of a mentally ill vice president who suffers in complete isolation," was "obviously sparked by the behaviors I witnessed by Sarah Palin."

"What if somebody who was ill-equipped for the office were to ascend to the presidency or vice presidency? What would they do? How long would it take for people to figure it out? I became consumed by this question," Wallace said, of her inspiration for the novel.

Wallace notes that the book is "by no means meant to build a case against Sarah Palin."

But she mentions that during the 2008 presidential race, "there certainly were discussions -- not for long because of the arc the campaign took -- but certainly there were discussions about whether, if they were to win, it would be appropriate for her to be sworn in."

"Palin vacillated between extraordinary highs on the campaign stage -- she ignited more enthusiasm than our side had seen at any other point -- to debilitating lows," Wallace said. "She was often withdrawn, uncommunicative and incapable of performing even the most basic tasks required of her job as McCain's running mate."

Wallace said this behavior inspired a character whose confidantes "watched in this troubled state of confusion, despair and helplessness as she flailed around."

"That was something I experienced" with Palin, she said.