July 3rd, 2009
04:45 PM ET
12 years ago

Palin to step down as governor, not seeking re-election

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Gov. Sarah Palin announced Friday that she will step down as Alaska's chief executive by the end of the month. She will not seek election to a second gubernatorial term in 2010.

Palin, a Republican, was elected governor in 2006. She was tapped as Arizona Sen. John McCain's vice presidential running mate last year.

Palin said she was transferring authority to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who will be sworn in on July 26.

"People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska," Palin said at an announcement from her home in Wasilla.

"Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine."

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."

A Republican source close to Palin's political team told CNN's John King that it was a "calculation" she made that "it was time to move on."

The governor's "book deal and other issues" were "causing a lot of friction up" in her home state, the source said, adding that he believes that she is "mapping out a path to 2012."

Another source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Palin "thinks she has accomplished goals she has set forward. ... She sees what a positive influence she has had on people's lives from traveling the country in the last year."

As the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, Palin has been considered one of the front-runners for the next GOP presidential nomination. Her decision not to seek another term as governor is sure to stoke speculation that Palin is seriously eyeing a run for the White House.

In an interview last month with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Palin said she was unsure about her re-election bid because she needed to focus on her state and her family.

"So, no decision yet on either 2010 or let alone 2012?" Blitzer asked.

"No decision that I'd want to announce today," Palin responded.

- CNN's Peter Hamby, John King, Mark Preston, and Alan Silverleib contributed to this report.

(Updated at 4:45 p.m. with additional information)

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (454 Responses)
  1. Smart Pigmy

    Actually, my favorite picture of Palin is the one of her standing next to Cindy McCain on page 4 of the Vanity Fair story.

    July 3, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Biz99

    Palin's agenda after she lives the governors office.

    (1. Public Speaking 101
    (2. Media Management 101
    (3. Critical Thinking 101
    (4. Politics 101
    (5. Geopolitics 101

    July 3, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. Olumadunwa

    All the messages being sent out there about Palin are more or less fragmented. I think CNN owes the public the duty of publishing nothing less than the whole truth. It's hard to tell if this lady is ending her current term prematurely or not; CNN did not bother to provide all that information. Also we don't know why she is deciding to take this stance. Or maybe CNN is only helping her to get an attention she does not deserve. If the media wasn't turning into something horrible, how can you explain the fact that we'll be told that Palin is quitting her job in mid term, without any reason as to why she is doing it; but rather they were so excited to hurriedly get it published out there – this is really sad! CNN can do better than this.

    July 3, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. JasonTN

    Quitting, now that's not a very conservative thing to do. Conservatives preach family values, integrity, self-ownership, and to never quit. Is she really a conservative?

    July 3, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. James

    Funny how 'Jim' claims the Dems are the "most corrupt political party".

    Which party caused the messes we are in now?

    Which party ran the economy in the ground by letting big business do whatever they wanted? Which party threw out parts of the Constitution? Which party started an illegal war? Which party lied to Congress to get that war? Which party tortured? Which party committed war crimes? Which party leaked the ID of a CIA officer? Which party ran Palyin for VP?

    ALL Crimes.

    July 3, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. Mimi

    Look, I'm not a Sarah Palin fan by any means – far from it, but can we at least wait to hear further the reasons for her decision? Must we attack? I hope she or a member of her family is not ill. Do I want her in national office? No. However I see no reason to attack the woman without reason. Sorry – just my opinion.

    July 3, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. Noel need to wash his mind out with soap

    @ Noel

    You are a sick little man with sick little thoughts and that's all I'm saying on your blog. You aren't worth the time or energy!

    July 3, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. jm for sc


    If you believe anyone is afraid of Sarah Palin, let me sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. The "myth" of the left being afraid of Palin is just media created. If you will let your mind go back to November 4th 2008, McCain and Palin were beaten in a landslide victory by Obama and Biden. It will be no difference in 2012. All Obama will need to do is play that interview between Palin and Katie Couric.

    Palin is completely out of her league.

    July 3, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. AA

    What a shame.

    Stewart, Colbert and Bill Mahr are all on holiday next week and we will just have to wait to properly pay tribute to that missing link.

    (Just for you conservatives, the missing link is a reference to Darwin's theory of evolution where he stated that there was a step in human evolution between ape and man that walked upright but did not have the same mental capacity.)


    July 3, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Robert

    Did she learn this from McCain? He suspends his campaign when things get tough and she quits her position when things get tough.

    July 3, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Joyce

    To those who believe people are picking on Sarah Palin: She brings it on herself. If she shut her mouth, she would not be as big a target.

    July 3, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Peter Johnson

    I'm delighted to hear this news, but I'm 100% sure it has nothing to do with her plans for 2010 or 2012.

    Although... given how Twilight Zone-esque the GOP has become of late, it wouldn't surprise me if her advisers told her that this is a good way to get votes. It also wouldn't surprise me if she was dumb enough to believe it.

    July 3, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Paul

    She doesn't want to quit, she just likes attention. She would claim to be suicidal just to get people to worry about her.

    July 3, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Wayne Moore

    "you don't beat Obama by criticizing his policies"? How do you beat him – by SUPPORTING his policies?

    The Republicans lost the election because they picked McCain – not because McCain picked Palin.

    Palin was more qualified to be VP, no, more qualified to be President, than a certain freshman Senator and community organizer.

    July 3, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. doug

    Palin left Wasilla in debt.
    Palin is leaving Alaska in debt.
    What is Palin's next target – America?

    July 3, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. uggg

    I have heard her speech. I am tired of the poor me routine. Media beating up on me. I guess she can't stand the heat, so maybe it's good she's getting out of the kitchen. Now if only, we don't have to hear her talk any more. But my guess is she'll keep talking.
    What a flake.

    July 3, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Azzaro

    she might be having an affair with the 2nd dude. At least she is smarter than the 1st dude of SC.

    July 3, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Tehran, Tn

    OMG she saying people came to Alaska to dig for dirt. Yet she had nothing to say when people say everything about Obama. Thats what the media do, they get the worst on people. The Rev thing almost lost the election for him. Your intelligence lost the election for you. I would hate for people to vote for her in 2012. How you going being VP when didnt even finish your term as Gov. She talked about all the good she done and she take credit but if so good why leaving. She said never give up and the quiter way out .. . um thats what you doing.

    July 3, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. Marie in California

    Looking forward to seeing Sarah Palin on the 2012 national ballot. She is the most refreshing, wholesome person to show up on the political landscape in my entire lifetime. Integrity, intelligence, morals, ethics. She's got them all. I don't think those qualities much exist in politics these days....if they ever did.

    Mostly, I have taken to calling the Congress and Senate a "Parliament of Wh*ores." Won't even comment on our current president.

    Time to clean house.

    So.....you go, Sarah!

    July 3, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. Sam

    Guess her book deal and talk show appearances were more lucrative and more fun than being governor. If she REALLY wanted to position herself for another political office in 2010 or 2012, then throwing in the towel and being a quitter isn't the way to do it.

    Or, as another person said, maybe she got tired of MJ grabbing all the headlines this past week and will announce tomorrow that she was "just kidding" today. What a moron.

    July 3, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. Donna, Orlando FL

    LLB, I agree w/ u. Most men can't stand seeing a woman being a lot smarter than them & to all the other women who bashing her like an idiot knows that she is still a hell of lot smarter than McCain, Biden & Obama.

    When she stepped down she did it for her future & see where it would take her. If this does take her to 2012 Presidental election. U will c her as our new/next President of USA.

    She is capable of getting the job done & a lot better w/ her tough talking woman that she is. I will always be in her corner no matter what.


    July 3, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. Mike

    so on top of everything else she's a quitter too.

    Again, how does this help her in 2012?

    July 3, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. McEmtol

    Good riddance....but hey....i hope i wont have to go through the hell of her shooting for the WH again!

    July 3, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. slp


    You appear to be a representation of the democratic party that we once had and need to get back to in this country. I am a republican and also believe that the republican party has also lost touch with it's core beliefs. We need to strong parties in this country. I applaud you, LLB, for your candor and agree with you. Palin is a strong women who finds it more important to do the right thing rather than be popular. She has made mistakes but she is human and truly wants to do what is right for her state and her country. God bless you, Gov. Palin.

    July 3, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. jt

    SNL and Tina Fey get your downtime in now – You're going to be very busy now.

    July 3, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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