(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.
This is what you guys are missing.... Sarah Palin was elected to SERVE the citizens of ALASKA. Because of all the frivolous lawsuits that have cost the people of ALASKA millions of dollars with no end in site, Ms.Palin has chosen to take her battle elsewhere – so the tax dollars from hard working ALASKANS can be used for their intended purpose – FOR THE GOOD OF THE STATE OF ALASKA. So the incoming Governor can lead the State forward. Ms.Palin is not of the "SAME OLD POLITICS AS USUAL". She wants to SERVE THE PEOPLE... responsibly. For those of you on both side of the aisle that don't get it... WE THE PEOPLE do get it and not only find it REFRESHING but are excited at the prospect that she may actually be able to REPRESENT us – those who have lost a voice in this new socialist style government – those who still believe in the Constitution of the United States.
So thank you for passing the ball, Sarah, so your team in Alaska can win the game they are in. I hope you will join our team and help us WIN OUR COUNTRY BACK. We need a CAPTAIN, not a HOTSHOT who is in the game only to make themselves look good.
All you lib think about is getting something for free from la-bama
and in the end you will really pay for kissing hsi butt
Pure FOOLISHNESS. That was NEWS ALERT was pure FOOLISHNESS. She should have just wrote a note, and had Trig read it for her. I don't know how anybody could, would or will support that kind of nonesense. I listened to Sarah Palin and I don't know if that woman was about to laugh at herself or just acting silly. She is clearly not coherent as to what she wants to say or is saying. She just opens her mouth and BABBLES. Alaska, you all had better VET your candidates better than this. She is a MESS. This 1-year REALITY SHOW was a MESS and a disgrace to the many intelligent and capable women who are in politics and is well-suited for the job (HILLARY CLINTON, MAXINE WATERS, MICHELLE OBAMA, just to name a few of the BEST). Sarah, a 2-year degree in SPORTS won't work in this ARENA, Honey.
John McCain, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF !!!
Hey Scott from TUCSON
Short memory........... All this mess that Obama is trying to fix was the direct cause of Bush/Chaney.
Whats your answer to the problem ?? Nothing !!!
You're probably just another FOX NEWS, LIMBAUGH listener, who just wants Obama to fail.
Keep in mind, if he fails you and I go first.
A reformed Conservative who got tired of the hypocrisy
She just handed him the Governor's Office on a silver platter....of course he's going to saying flattering things about her...true or not!
All the news she's been getting for the past 6 months has been worthy of The National Enquirer and The Globe. People Magazine has more class than to focus on the stupid stuff she's been doing.
Maybe this was a move to get some regular 'coverage.'
Clearly, she leads the all-time list of most inexperienced, under-qualified, ill-equipped, least intellectual, cotton-for-brains U.S. politicians.
Reading comments all the time I have to say, why would anyone wish to serve people like this. Repbulican and Democrat. You're pathetic. And pray it really never hits the fan, because none of you can take care of yourselves. It pains me to see what we have become.
This woman truly is someone to be feared by the Democrats. We don't know if she will run , but I would be proud to call her senator , president or she is truly a Christian sister. She has interigty and tru-grit. She doesn't have everybody pulling her strings. God bless her. May we all wake up , while we can.
If I was an Alaskan I would be SO embarrassed that Palin was called "Alaska's greatest gift to the US". Seeing as how I am not, and am a NH resident, I am not embarrassed as much as I am disgusted and appalled. What exactly is it she has done for the US? Nothing. And she never will, because 80% of America disagrees with almost all of her thinking.
I listened to Ms Palin's 'explanation' SEVERAL times and listened to Parnel's reply...."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. Where is the logic? Where is the cohesive rationale? Where is the sense of purpose and follow-up in her 'explanation?' There is absolutely none, and how ANYONE could conclude tht Sarah Palin was "....moving to put Alaska's interest first!" Now I understand why the Republican party has the problems it has...they are very basic and they are very profound problems that will not be resolved until someone takes Logic 101!!!
Sarah Palin: "Alaska's greatest gift to the United States".You Mr. Parnell are a quart low. LOL
when will the next shoe fall for palin. THANK THE LORD she was'nt elected in 2008,she's a quitter nothing more.
I never get posted and I have no clue why but here goes.
She has signed on with Bush, to complete Bush's, new crayon coloring book, soon to be released complete with crayons...."The World According To George Bush",
George needs help and she jumped at the chance....
You just have to laugh at these so-called "leaders". Palin's successor is praising her for leaving her elected office. Golly......I wonder why?
There just has to be something wrong with the water in Alaska because there are some very strange people up there.
I watched her "speech" live yesterday and I have watched it again on video today. I still don't understand the message she was trying to get across, other than she was quitting and people seemed to be picking on her. One thing I heard that seems to have been missed is when she said Todd had flown in from the commercial fishing grounds. Now did I imagine this? If I did hear it correctly was Todd part of the decision as this was a very hastily called News Conference.
And by the way we don't want her in Canada, thank you very much.
Happy Fourth of July to all in the U.S.
There is obviously a big piece of the puzzle missing here. A "pit bull" like Sarah Palin does not quit without warning, for no specific (public) reason. Through all the scrutiny and negative press of the national election, Sarah kept going. Through all the ethics investigations in Alaska, Sarah kept going. Through all the late night jokes, newspaper cartoons, and photoshopped pictures, Sarah kept going. And now, suddenly, she quits. She quits in the middle of her term as governor. After showing incredible guts in the face of adversity for months, she quits. Why?
I suspect that investigators have uncovered something that would end Sarah's political career if it were made public. When presented with the fact that this information had been found, Sarah had no choice but to quit, to avoid embarassment and further scrutiny. By quitting, Sarah has made it look as if it was her own choice to depart, but she had no choice.
How will you be able to tell if this is true? If the ethics investigations currently underway suddenly end with no further action. Ethics investigations normally do not end when a politician leaves office, unless there's good reason to end them. As in, they've ended the career of the targeted politician.
Bad, really bad strategist. Everything she's said and done are a disaster.
Why some seem to love her is frightening. Are you so Hell bent on having a Republican in power that it absolutely matters Not, who that Republican is?
Oh, yeah, I almost forgot, that's what was happening from 2000 till 2008!
Having read the comments and heard the hate filled screatching from millions of Democrats in this country, Palin and her family are at a great risk of something horrible happening to them. These lib extremists that now are a majority of Democrats in this country want to harm Sarah and her family, just read the death threats at the ticker and other areas where libs foam out their hate and anger.
I don't think that anyone can understand what she is going through, maybe Martin Luther King Jr. could, I hope that Sarah doesn't end up a victim of extremists like he was. It is worse than the lib fantasy world hate of Cheney and Bush.
I agree with Scott that Obama should resign; but please make sure Joe and Nancy go with him.
Sarah we wish you all the best.
Good luck Gov. Palin! I hope she will have some peace as she tends to the needs of her family and continues to help the people of Alaska. Politics, especially Washington politics is to mean spirited for someone of Sarah Palin's character. The elitest snobs of DC hated her at first sight and they have not let up since November. Best of luck to Gov. Palin and her lovely family.
So the little lady from Alaska is going to cut and run. Isn't that what she so upbraided the current president for proposing in Iraq when he was the candidate and talked about the troop drawdown? Why would any voter ever cast a vote for a quitter? Whether she is quitting because she expects more trouble, is not up to the task, or wants to have more time to run for president in 2012, it matters not because she is quite simply walking out on her constituents!
NOT A PROUD MOMENT FOR ALASKANS
This is the second time Sarah Palin has resigned a post!
2004, She resigned from the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation commission. (AOGCC)
2009, She resigns as Governor of the State of Alaska.
Her track record is not very promising.
She seems to have a problem with finishing what she starts.
In my opinion, she has set the women's movement back 100 years as Her actions make people think that a woman can not handle the position as Governor.
Maybe it is time for her to return to being a Soccer Mom!
Up here in Connecticut, we don't really cotton to right-wingers, but at least we respect those right-wingers who can put two sentences together into a coherent thought. Alas, Ms. Palin disappoints on that score.
What could she possible see as a positive in quitting early? Because she is just a quitter now
And how on this earth can 73% of Republicans approve of this incoherent babbler?
GIFT??? I think Mr. Parnell must have been using the German word "gift", which means "poison" in English. Either that, or he needs sanity therapy.
I would expect her successor to praise her obviously not matter if its truly what he believes. That said, can someone please explain to me why she is resigning because I sure didn't get it from her speech yesterday? I have never heard so much rambling and confusion from one person in my life and still not get the jest of what she was saying. All I got was "politics as usual, pass the ball, lame duck, the troops, Alaska but nothing that told me truly why she is resigning. What a communicator.