(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.
seriously? I hope he gets booted next year...
All the doom and gloom that is coming out about Gov Palin's decision is just another of those whoe hope she willGO AWAY.scary
Too bad President Bush didn't have the same courage to move to "put the United States' interest first" by resigning – and taking his posse of Cheney, Rove and the other stooges with him. So, thank you Governor Palin. We'll be sure not to let the door hit you on your way out.
Who cares, this lady is a joke. Alaska will be better off without her running around flapping her gums. She's dumber than bush, and far more thin skinned. Hope we never hear her name again!!!
She will forever be remembered as a lightweight.
The Lt Gov has misspoken already. He said she was the greatest think Alaska gave to the US. He wanted to say the greatest disaster to ever happen. She is a fraud and in the end it will all come out. She got rich on the Alaskan people.
dumb move.... she has no argument for experience now.
Obama can say she can't finish what she starts if she runs in 2012.
Up is down... black is white... the ethics that proceed this women and her kind leave us looking for the ulterior motive, and THERE IS an ulterior motive. (something God told her)
While the holier than thou praise God for their "savior's" continued rise to power, the rest of us need to continue figuring out how avoid becoming a casualty to the delirious tendencies of "the chosen ones."
Just think back to the events of the week with Governor Sanford liking himself to King David in the Old Testament. And don't forget what
George W's talks with God brought us.... they appear to be all narcissistic, sociopaths.
But seriously... these people are dangerous while their "followers" just plain retarded. (too much lead exposure as children)
good for Alaska! now for the other states with a republican gov...
OMG. Greatest gift? She is our country's perfect example of what happens when someone attends schools and does not learn a thing. I cannot imagine a country led by her. It would be a disaster. A dictatorship of ignorance, one bent on brainwashing and rigid ideology. She quit the governorship just as she quit the multiple colleges she attended.
Senator Murkowshi.........and Alaskans are still asking"What have you done for us lately:".............have fun on your trip through your own state.
Let's bring this 'gift' to the return counter. It is obviously quite defective. I have accused Palin of being a lot of things, but a quitter had never been one of them. How truly bizarre. Maybe this is a result of the 7 mil advance on her book? Take the money and run?
If she does ever run for a national office, be sure I will remind you then of this: Americans will never elect a quitter. They cannot. What, you are quitting NOW? Who knows what that NOW will be, to even imagine a leader that might just walk out on it?
Nice job Sarah Palin. So, things get tough for you and you leave office. Thank God you didn't win the vice-presidency.. you would have left that by now as well.
Good luck proving yourself for the 2012 election, you just blew it.
She's planning on defecting to Russia, via her backyard.
Parnell, by the way, has both solidity and humor. Good luck, Sir.
Sooo, she quits the governor's office. Why should we think she'd stick it out if she runs in 2012?
Don't the Republicans refer to what she is doing as " cut and run "? She's just doing to Alaska what she did to junior college....
This woman Palin, is still a joke, has no business involved in politics at all... she's has no idea of the big picture..........none at all.... beyond Alaska, she's lost ....a empty trash basket .. And those in the GOP, are only interested in her because for some reason she has all the notoriaty within there party....so what does that tell you about the GOP party.... Had McCain picked Hermit the frong and put him front and center, he would be there choice to lead the party in 2012
read the murkowski article above. Palin is a quitter, how is that going to help her
Nothing is more important to Sarah Palin than Sarah Palin.
She quit so she could get more money and try to get more power. She put herself before the people who elected her.
In short, she worships the same things Republicans are on their knees for: money and power.
:...and the hits just keep on coming". Republicans, Goodnight Irene.
'putting Alaska first'?!? By quitting, maybe.
Just listening to her rambling, incoherent 'news conference' was enough to convince the country we're ALL better off with her out of government. Most of us knew this over a year ago.
Congratulations to Alaska, of being set free from the circus Palin created for the state.
So if she did get elected as President and then re-elected, would she resign so she isn't a lame duck President??? It would make as much sense as her resigning the Governor's post.
palin is a embarassment for alaska and this country. lets hope she crawls into her igloo never to be seen or heard from again!