(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.
It seems to me under the constitution of the United States as well as those of most of the states given the term limits on many executive offices all such political office holders are by definition from the time they are first elected "lame ducks". By Palin's logic no one should run for office in order to avoid being lame ducks. It seems to me the only thing that is "lame" here is her reason for resigning.
To Anne......best comeback of the DAY!!!!
One can only wonder what scandal-to-be was her real motivation.....a pregnant daughter? Truth coming out about Trig? Hanky panky? Nervous breakdown? Offered a co-host spot on The Jerry Springer Show? Her shrill bizarreness and self-absorption are surrealistic at best.
Interesting; she says she's saving Alaska dollars by stepping down – sort of a slick effort to try and end the "ethics" probes.
If she violated her duties as a state governor – then runs from the probes to avoid being held accountable – how can she possibly think she can help anyone do anything?
She can't even handle her own mess – the messes that by her own actions she created...and caused the state to have to start the ethics probes.
Maybe she should have thought about all this when she and hubby were "stealing" campaign dollars to buy him silk boxer shorts!
Let's be real here. Sarah was used as window dressing by the GOP because everybody knew that McCain wouldn't be a viable candidate based on his own merits alone.
I'm putting my money on the idea that she resigned because there is a scandal looming on the horizon. If that's the case, then she did the right thing by quitting now instead of having to spend her time fighting off accusations instead of guiding Alaskan policies.
What a disgrace. This woman was elected to be Governor for 4 years and is quitting for totally insane reasons. This decision is all about HER and nothing to do with the great state of Alsaka.
If she knew that she is going to resign soon then why did she waste taxpayers' money to visit the troops oversee??? If it was a sudden decision to resign that means there is something what is about to blow out in her face which would force her to resign. Both show what we all knew about her...She is an uneducated, self-centered, ignorant hypocrite who should seriously consider to give up on any further political aspirations.
Sarah your 15 min are up. Now go!
she can't govern a state, she should TOTALLY run for president then! worked for Bush....
Now we know what is truly wrong with the Republican party. They value mediocricity. It is really sad that they don't expect more of their leaders. It is extremely sad to see how they continue to diminish others who have put all of their effort into making a change for this country. President Obama hasn't quit despite the constant critisim, badgering and hatred coming from the Republican party. Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Bill Clinton never gave up on the American people despite receiving the same critisim and scrutiny as Mrs. Palin.
It is time for her to accept responsibility for her actions and stop blaming the Liberal media, Democrats, David Letterman and anyone else she can think of. It is time for Republicans to stop dumbing down America and expect more from their leaders. It is time for them to accept responsibility when they can't handle things. It was the same with George Bush who actually gave up on this country. What did he do during the last year of his "Lame Duck" Presidency, quit too. And what are they doing now, blaming everyone else for their failures.
Oh, yeah, it's totally credible that she's Alaska's greatest gift to our country. She outshines the abundant natural resources, unbelievable natural beauty, and all other innumerable assets of the state. Pardon me whilst I gag over one of the stupidest statements to ever come out of a politician's mouth.
I've read most of the posts and have come to the conclusion that liberals are not the caring people that they pretend to be. Sarah Palin has never injured any of you (individually or politically). She was asked to run with Senator McCain. Although young in politics and political experience, she is more qualified (and probably smarter) than most of the posters here. She has been lampooned, attacked and besmearched for 8 months. I don't see her campaigning for this. If you want her to go away, leave her along.
How can she hope to further her political career if she skips out of office at the first sign of trouble or opposition?
Regardless of what she or her supporters think, this action has effectively ended her political career in the near future because she is never going to get past the "If you can't govern Alaska for 4 years, how do you plan to lead the free world?" line.
This was a very hasty and greedy decision, and no matter how her camp tries to spin it, she has abandoned Alaska for her own political aspirations.
I think the lady is a complete lunatic, but I really also think this is a good change for her. She is not cut out for the whole leadership thing......sound bites and fanning flames at rallies aren't what a true leader is made of. With this in mind, this is the best thing for her and her family. Dirty Harry once observed that a guy has to know his limitations.......hopefully, Ms. Palin has recognized hers and will go quietly into the night to take care of her family's needs.
What a brown nosing synchophant. Maybe Alaska's Lt Gov. should come to New York and serve in the state senate.
Several posts on this site have whined about the "unequal" treatment of Sarah Palin's children as opposed to Obama's. The crucial difference here is that Palin deliberately exposed these children to the public during the campaign. There was daughter Bristol, hugely pregnant and unwed. there was Trig, blank-faced and pitiful. The Obama children were not used in this calloused and vulgar way. ( By the way, where was Sarah's oldest son, in Iraq to avoid a jail sentence?) Even the most blind "family values" hack should be able to see which family had the values.
When a person commits to run for governor, President, or some public office, people expect to her or him to see it through the end. Not just get up and quit. There is a trust that you give an elected official that she or he see things through the end. If things don't work out, democracy will see that person is not in office again.
What kind of message does this send to America's youth? Certainly not a role model.
What else did you expect him to say? He has just been handed the governship on a silver platter. I wonder had Palin been sucessful in the bid for VP -is this the kind of action she would have taken? I think something is fishy and I can't wait for the other shoe to drop.
Psychotic libs are STILL afraid of her!
Come on guys this is all about money. Palin is now going to travel the country and gives incoherent speechs throughtout the country for a LARGE fee. Hey someone has to feed Trip, Trig, Dig, Fig and Lid, God knowns hubby hasn't worked since the convention with the exception of getting his face in the photo. Palin dosn't care about Alaska, her Kids, or this country it's all about the bucks, and her crazy idea of becoming President in 2012.
She committed political suicide. This woman wanted us to believe that she could be president but she could not handle being governer?
Winners never quit and quiters NEVER win.
Her national politcal career is over in terms of being a candidate for national office.
Fonzi if you really believe what you wrote I have a bridgeto no where to sell you in Alaska.
How does quitting your job when the going gets rough and abandoning your elected duties amount to putting Alaska first?
Palin is a narcissistic opportunist who's fallen in love with all the attention her failed VP candidacy has given her. If she weren't an attractive woman (on the outside) living in a state where men dramatically outnumber men and willing to make nasty, false statements about her opponents (revealing her true ugliness within), she'd be nowhere.
Why? Because the GOP has been taken over by mean-spirited, hateful, lying hypocrits who like nothing better than to blame all their problems on everyone else, all the while furthering their own, self-righteous, self-centered, money and party first agenda.
My many Republican friends and family are totally appalled and saddened by the likes of Sarah Palin. It's just a matter of time that they rid their party of cancers like her.
Suddenly I am quite glad that Maine doesn't have a 1st in the nation primary. I feel sorry for Iowa and NH to have to put up with Romney Huck and the newly available 24/7 ex Gov Palin for the next years. Maybe they will take the Guliani approach and just torture one state.
She's a quitter. She has abandoned Alaska. And she wanted to be vice-president? And possibly run for president in 2012 and have a chance? I think not!