(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.
She can write her book now!!
She can get paid to give speeches for the gop now!!
She can take care of her special needs kid now!!
She can watch her michevious, promiscuous kids now!!
She can go back to school now!
Just happy go get her out of politics. My 20yr old son has more intelligence than her but i wouldn't want him to be president. A president should be above average, not below average.
She's nuts. But what's nuttier are those defending her bizarre rationale for resigning. Holy cow, what a circus.
King crab is Alaska's greatest gift to the US. Sarah Palin, not so much. Maybe Alaska's greatest gift to late night talk show hosts lolz.
He is just as kooky as her I guess.
It's time again for the left (particularly leftist women) to attack Sarah Palin. Why? Because she has achieved a measure of success most of them will never experience, and she has done it in a manner that leftists believe (and have spent their lives telling their daughters) is a path to failure. Governor Palin has embraced family (oh no), faith (NO! NO!), conservatism, a pro life stance, attractiveness, motherhood, femininity, and a host of other traits viewed as outdated by the left. I have no idea about her motives for resigning and I don't care. This is what the oh-so-tolerant left has wanted since she was named as VP nominee, yet they continue to attack her. There's your unofficial leftist motto: "We're not happy until you're not happy either."
Can a president quit their job if the pressure of doing it gets too high? Can a president quit if they decided midway that the spotlight is too bright?
... This was not a smart move.
Joe, please, no, we have enough right wing nut bible thumpers here trying to hijack the national agenda. Keep her. My biggest worry about her is that she becomes a mouthpiece for the religious right and continues to spew her hate filled nonsense and starts a reinvigorated cultural war. The comments on the sites that support her are down right scary in that they are essentially putting out a call to arms for the Palinites to fight against the sitting POTUS and anyone that disagrees with them. I do fear more domestic terrorists acts fueled by Palin's gobblygook-speak.
I nearly fell off my chair laughing during her rambling speech yesterday to hear it punctuated by the ducks behind her quacking! I said to my friend after hearing the duck, "now that IS God's work"!
Who cares if she 'abandoned' alaska.... a rock would be a better governor than that bimbo.
the greatest gift is her leaving office.
she is running away from reality.
Sarah Palin. Unbridled ambition with not an ounce of ability.
The perfect Republican
Yeah, and Parnell thinks Elvis is still alive, OJ is innocent and that MJ was the greatest entertainer in history.
Looks like Alaska is getting an even-up replacement for the Whacko from Wisilla...
Putting Alaska first? Bologna! It's all about Sarah. Alsways has been, always will be.
Senator Murkowski's comments are disappointing, and just another example of the 'politics as usual' that Governor Palin is trying to avoid. Let's see.....Palin defeated Lisa Murkowski's father....Palin is mentioned as a possible GOP presidential candidate, which I personally think is a bit farfetched....is is possible Senator Murkowski is worried about her own job? Why else would she have warned Gov. Palin not to seek her seat? Does she really think she would beat Palin head-to-head? If she does, she's kidding herself. Sarah Palin is not 'abandoning' the people of Alaska. She's actually doing them, and the Republican Party, a favor. Now the Lt. Gov. has a year and a half to establish his own record, and that will help keep Alaska's gubernatorial seat in Republican hands. Hey, Senator Murkowski, stop whining and worrying about what's good for you; instead recognize what's good for Alaska. And possibly, the country.
Palin...what a joke...she doesn't have the guts to be president...she couldn't handle being a governor once the heat turned up...how could she withstand the highest office in the land???
ral July 4th, 2009 11:17 am ET: "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"
Actually it's more a morbid fascination. No matter how you feel about her as a politician, she's always entertaining. And is it my imagination or have her verbal tics and "politiciany" hand gestures become even more pronounced since Tina Fey so brilliantly nailed them? Life imitates art?
I submit that this event is really a move in the republican party's internal squabbling. The Bill Kristol camp was the impetus behind her nomination, and now Kristol says she is 'crazy like a fox.' I believe we will see her used as a rallying personality for the morality-based wing of the party as they battle for control with the business-backed, fiscal conservative pragmatists in the party.
For dems, this should be seen as good news in that it will keep the republicans flailing internally in the time leading up to the 2010 election. Energy spent on internal battles will prevent the GOP from mounting an effective national mid-term effort.
She is either completely incompetent, which is very likely, or she has massive skeletons in her closet. She is being so irresponsible, and leaving her state during a time of massive need. She is completely selfish to abandon her state, and who in their right mind would elect a President who couldn't even stick it out for a full 4 year term as governor? I think this is a greedy move by a lazy, incompetent Governor.
She is a twit and thank goodness she could only be a Republican twit with her ignorance! Keep on shaming your party Sarah, just like the guys!
First off, I am a moderate Republican; I did not vote for John McCain because of Sarah Palin and I will not vote for Sarah Palin if she is the Republican nominee in 2012. If the GOP doesn't get it thru their thick heads that they must win the votes of moderates and independents (and most moderates and independents are hard-working Americans who are hurting – not rich businessmen) they will never retake the White House. I didn't like her during the campaign and I still don't like her now, no matter how much she tries to repackage herself.
Palin has now gone from loser to quiter all in less than 12 months – what accomplishments can she now brag about – She should have served out her term office that she was elected to by the people of Alaska – This is being done to open the doors to multi million dollar deal of some kind – probaly with FOX Noise Network – keep up the good work palin you are doing more good for the DEMS than anythingh else.
bkb.... you are on the mark. Most Republicans, like Gov. Sanford, like to see women in skirts, but without the skirt!!!
The liberal Obamatron Democrats on these blogs are the prime example of what being suckered in is and a prime example of why America needs voter reform. Voter reform like if you're getting government assistance checks you lose your vote, until you pay it back or at least stay off of it for a designated time period. That way the government is not buying your vote. Do you liberal bloggers really believe that Obama isn't a George Soros, Ted Kennedy puppet? Liberals want to attack Sarah Palin for misuse of tax dollars for taking her kids with her or buying clothes while Nancy Pelosi flies back and forth from DC to SanFranWeirdo two times a week at a tax payer cost of around 5 million a year? Why, I think it would be a grand idea to audit some of these DC political figures, let's start with a campaign contribution audit of Barrack Obama. Guess what idiots, every politician in DC is abusing your tax dollars, like junkets to Italy and the Galapogos Islands. Remember they just voted themselves raises and a $90,000.00 expense allotment not too far back. I say let the liberal Democrats have every single thing they wish and watch the train wreck!
I smell something bad coming.
Palin and her family have been attacked since McCain inivited her to be his running mate. I don't see why there is so much hatred on the left. It's silly. I'm curious why hack journalists and comedians are still attacking–8 months after an election.
Although I was no fan of McCain, I'd rather have Salin as the democratic vice president TODAY than Joe Biden.