(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.
He's probably glad the doggone woman will be anywhere else but Alaska,
7 more years of Obama!
Do you think this would be her dedication as President, if things got tough she would bail on the job?
I have my doubts if my comment will be posted. In order to get to this site,,,,,,the caption stated,,,,,,,Sen lisa Murkowski slammed Palin's decision to abandon her governor's position. Given the nature of apparently a lot of our MALE Senators,,,,i have the feeling,,,,there might be more than one of our MALE Senators who would also like to slam ex-Governor Palin,,,,,slam her on a mattress or whatever else site might be available.
I think Alaska's greatest gift to this country is Deadliest Catch.
What would she do as President when things get a little tough or when she felt she had done everything she set out to do, QUIT. No thanks, Sarah. Stay in Wasilla. We don't want you as President. I want someone with some brains.
I admire courageous women with passion to make a difference. I admire people who actually get on the playing field. I admire George Bush, Bill Clinton, Barrack Obama, etc. I admire Sarah Palin. It is so easy to stay on the side lines and attack, isn't it? And it is so easy for the media to use the masses and take their small minds and twist them to believe what they want them to believe about someone...like Sarah Palin. What have you done for your country lately?????
Good bye. Before McCain selected her, I never heard of the woman. But we certainly won't forget her standing in front of the turkey slaughtering machine. What an embarrassment to Alaska. I bet they would like to see her leave.
What a liar? He just wats the job for himself. She is a dager to America ad Alaska. How could she be trusted to lead America if she gives up on Alaska.
I think waiting for the "rest of the story" is wise. Medical issues? Financial issues? A breaking scandal? Or just setting the stage for the next campaign? Time will tell.
Sara Pailin can not put two coherent sentences together and I wonder how many followers she would have if she said exactly sames things but looked liked Barbara Bush.
It sounded like Palin was having a breakdown of some sort. Maybe you have to be an Alaskan and a Republican to understand her thought process? If you can't hold an office that you've been elected to for at least it's term IMO who could trust her for another office?
she'll be all over TV and radio from now on. she loves the attention too much to do anything but travel the country, drumming up money from right wingnuts. she is a psychopath on the loose, now.
And this is who John McCain thought was best to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? Ridiculous. Everyone told her to keep a low profile but she couldn't stay away from the cameras. I don't she how she runs in 2012. She will be labeled as a quitter.
To Joe the troll who said "maybe we can regift her to Canada"
Wash your mouth out..We have been your allies and largest trading partner for years. That would be a decleration of war. Keep her. But if you really care about us, we would be happy to have President Obama, even on a part-time basis
why do Palin's fans think the left is determined to bring her down? We didn't tell her to resign early, or use her family for political gain, or have an unwed teen daughter, or talk like a moron.
the left has nothing to do with Palin and her image. she needs to own this one.
She has decided to follow fundamentalist Republican doctrine, which means she can't drive, go out of the house for work, and will wear the traditional Republican berka....
Like Hillary told Obama during the presidential primaries "If the kitchen gets too hot, get out!".
I guess the kitchen got too hot for Sarah Palin. It is suprising she could not stand those critics, after she made an art of it.
Senator McCain made a fool of himself when he picked Palin as his running mate. In short order Palin became the court jester,,,,,another fool. If her name should ever appear in the history books,,,,,,God forbid,,,,,,,i am sure the comments would not be to her liking.
wow if tghat alaskas gift to us please tell them enough. the only thing she has ggiven to us is how ridiculuos the people of alaska are for electing the hot mess
The Lt. Governor's praise was part of the deal with Sarah for letting him become the Governor. Sarah's speech was characterized by visible anxiety and likely anger for what people have done to her. Sort of like, If I can't have it my way, I won't play. If she thinks the publicity is unfair, she will become intensely overwhelmed if she runs for another office.
Palin is not putting Alaska first. She is putting Palin first. This will allow her to campaign around the country, raising money from her hardcore followers, without conflict of interest. Transparent.
Good luck just the same, Lt. Governor, handling the duties of Alaskans that Palin is departing.
"Winners never quit. Quitters never win."
to joe the troll " palin gilft to canada" thanks but no thanks. we can see the usa from canada and will be watching for strange airplanes trying to drop off strange red package!
Oh, bless her heart. She's SO selfless. She's sacrificing all for Alaska! She's a saint!
Please. Give me a freaking break. And while you're at it, knock it off with the ridiculous sports analogies.
Wow... Almost like the movie... Dumb then Dumber.. I guess she needs more time to prep for a presidential run.. Wonder if she would quit halfway thru a presidential term?? Maybe she is really the Argentina woman that had the get-some from Mark sanford cause she looks South American.. Oh wait..... She has never left the US or North Amercian continent.. Did she ever get a passport??..
Hmmm... Better she stays home to take care of her kids/family.. The children are more important...