(CNN) - Alaskan Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who will succeed Gov. Sarah Palin after she leaves office later this month, called the governor Alaska's greatest gift to the United States on Saturday.
"I was very surprised at first," he said of Palin's decision to resign, which he said she told him Wednesday.
"But then as she began to explain why she was doing it, I began to see it was Sarah Palin, once again, moving to put Alaska's interest first," Parnell told CNN.
Palin, a Republican and John McCain's vice presidential running mate last year, said Friday she will step down as Alaska's chief executive by the end of the month and would not run for a second gubernatorial term in 2010.
"People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska," Palin said at a news conference at her home in Wasilla.
Palin added in a statement that she was "determined to take the right path for Alaska even though it is not the easiest path."
"Once I decided not to run for re-election, I also felt that to embrace the conventional 'lame duck' status in this particular climate would just be another dose of 'politics as usual,' something I campaigned against and will always oppose."
Alaska's senior U.S. senator, Lisa Murkowski, was one of the people unhappy with Palin's decision.
"I am deeply disappointed that the governor has decided to abandon the state and her constituents before her term has concluded," the Republican said via satellite phone from interior Alaska, her office said.
Parnell said he accepted that others might see the governor's resignation in a different light than he does.
"She's accomplished more in these two and a half years than most governors accomplish in one or two terms," he said. "Our governor has been a great governor. She is going to be Alaska's and is Alaska's greatest gift to our country."
The soon-to-be governor said he intended to lead the state, to make sure people have jobs and that the state's finances are stable.
"Those are the things I'm going to be dealing with," he said. He will be sworn in on July 26.
Asked whether he planned on completing the term, he said "yes."
"But I am also conscious that we don't control life, so I may be dead tomorrow, and I'm not going to commit beyond that," he said, smiling.
Parnell said he planned to run for a full gubernatorial term in 2010.
Would it be too rude to reject "Alaska's greatest gift to the U.S.?"
WOW!........................look at all you liberals running at the mouth. Ya'll must be pretty scared of this woman from nowhere.
Oh, please say it isn't so! Alaska's loss isn't America's gain.
trevo July 4th, 2009 11:38 am ET
7 more years of Obama!
If we have Obama for 7 more years there will be nothing left of The United States of America.
Scott, in Tuscon you are the smartest of all , maybe Obama will decide to run for King of the world and stepaside
The 2nd GOP governor to abandon their state in 2 weeks.
The GOP is on life support.
Palin's multi-million dollar book deal and lucrative speeches are more important to her than her duties as a Governor.
If this senseless bag of hot air is a 'gift to America', we're doomed.
Palin doesn't need any help to be "discredited". she does that all by her self. She reeks of corruption and special interest, and her disingenuous wink, although appeals to the mindless right-wingers, rings hollow to the majority. Now be gone.
Parnell, if you can possibly take the time to pull your head of Palin's
butt, it's quite possible you will see daylight.
I sometimes wonder how so many people can be so influenced by the media, and by someone who speaks with a silver tongue. All of you men can't stand the fact that someone with a pretty face, can have a brain. How many of you ran for and was elected to govenor of a state?
I don't believe that Sarah cared what was said about her, but the degredation of her family was a different matter. Can you come up with anyone else who was ever maligned like her? I can't.
All of you people who hate her for some reason – get over it.
She was massacered, and now is done.
Incredibly transparent, weak excuses and spin from Palin – she's so power-hungry, she'd never just plain quit unless she knew it was inevitable that something career-destroying would otherwise come out into public knowledge. Keep your eyes open for the real story behind this in, oh, I give it a month, maybe six weeks, tops.
Wow! Big news that the man who is suddenly being made the gubenatorial incumbant just as the election campaign gets going flatters and expresses deep gratitude towards the resigning governor.....
What next, CNN? Are you going to report that the sun rose this morning and the sky is blue?
Not a sign of a good leader. She appears to be giving up the job because she is no longer useful. As a historian, I can say this will haunt her. If she had any plans to run for President in 2012, she can kiss them goodbye. Quitting early is a poor decision for a leader.
What a wimp Palin turned out to be – some bulldog! Running with her tail between her legs becuase the heat got to much for her here in AK. I guess Alaska's gift to the lower 48 is that she bombed up here and not on the big stage. Here's another local tip for my friends down south – look for the controversy surrounding the Wassilla Sports Complex find her in court soon. These charges might stick.
What he should have said was "Sarah Palin's BIGGEST GIFT to me!" Here's hoping he's a more successful governor than Palin...which isn't setting the bar too high!!
I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop on whatever else unethical Sarah Palin has been up to.... or Todd. Something suspicious is going on here. Palin relishes the limelight way too much to be bowing out as governor for no apparent reason!!
Yahoo!!! Why doesn't Palin take a dive permanently and I hope she'll never surface again. This is the best news I have heard in years.
This woman needs to go back to school and study something. She has no brains at all and she is thinking of running the country? Is she serious? Mc Cain – Palin, you all can't be serious. Mc Cain does not have what it takes either. Being a prison of war does not qualify one to be president. Palin, please get lost, you are doing the right thing. Stay away. Your kids, especially Trig needs you home. That's where you'll do best. You have not got what it takes, don't be fooled. You messed up your self when you gave the CBS intgerview with Catie C. and the others. Please go back to school and try to study something before you even think of running against Obama. Good Luck Ms. Palin!
Palin Is SMART and , has ACCOMPLISHED allot !!! She has run a state OBAMA did not Binden did NOT . The DEMS are scared of her !!! That is way they trash her.
Perhaps there is hope for Alaska after all. She really wasn’t the brightest star in Alaska’s skies..
Who the Fart is this T.J. Holmes – ANTAGONIST, NOT news man – Wanna-Be???? CNN you now hit the absolute BOTTOM of the drop bucket!!! You INTERVIEW, NOT malign, irritate make a spectacle of yourself T.J. but you won't be around to learn this!!!! What a CNN kudo of presenting another a-with a hole NON reporter of the news but then no one at CNN is capable of teaching (NEWS?) persons so 'how are they to learn'???
Palin always tells the truth; you just have to know how to translate her language.
"People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska."
Translation: Nothing is more important than myself and my people, and my faith in fascist ideology and corporate profit. After those things, I care about keeping Alaska profitable for myself and my people; it is, after all, OUR beloved Alaska.
Palin is Alaska's greatest gift to the US. I was either her or a polar bear.
Governor Palin was the most inspiring presence in national politics since President Reagan. She impressed me with her independance and out-spoken honesty. Her resignation is another independant move that defines her as outside the lock-step politics of both Republicans and Democrats. She is still the candidate I hope to see in the next presidential election. She is still the only national level politician with an understanding of the realities of life faced by the middle class and poor in America.
Lt. Gov Parnell says Palin is "Alaska's Greatest gift to the Nation?????"
Geez, that is funnier than anything that Colbert or Maher can say this week!!
NOTE: Republicans should be terrified that the self-centered, me-only Sarah Palin will run for President as an independent and split the 2012 GOP votes, just as Ralph Nader did in 2000. If Palin decides to run, she will run whether the GOP wants her or not, remember she does not care about the party, as she so clearly showed last November.
Look for a federal indictment to come soon regarding the building of the Wasilla Sports complex at the same time her very expensive home was being built nearby. This was around the same time that she suspended building permits in Wasilla. It's going to make the Ted Stevens scandal pale in comparison. This was a quid pro quo deal with the building materials contractor.
I am a liberal-Independent, who sadly, voted for Bush in 2000. And in 2008 supported Barack Obama with both money and volunteering for his campaign in my red state.
Just want y'all to know where I stand before I comment on Palin.
I don't hate Palin, I don't wish her harm. I simply do not see her as presidential material. There are plenty of other Republican women, for example, in the House & Senate that are brilliant and would be good presidents.
Palin got noticed because McCain gambled on her! Palin's rhetoric while campaigning in 2008, prove to me that I would not and could not support her ........ ever.