July 4th, 2009
10:41 AM ET
12 years ago

Alaska's soon-to-be governor praises Palin

(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.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. makesUwonder

    Best of luck to you Gov. Palin.

    July 4, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. Scott, Tucson

    If only Obama would do us all a favor and step down early too. We surely can't afford his economic policies.

    July 4, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. JPC

    Parnell is sucking up! Parnell wouldn't DARE say anything negative about this even if he thought it. He wants Sarah's backers to accept him. Sarah 'IS ABANDONING' Alaska! Sarah has her own agenda and her actions are for her own personal gain; NOT because of Alaska! Sarah has a book contract to honor or has something else going on, but there is no way in this world I'd EVER believe that she stepped down because of the good of the Alaskan people and because there is too much money being wasted. Just the fact that she even thibnks that we would believe this is insulting. I get ticked off when someone who lacks intelligence tries to insult mine!

    July 4, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    The woman is a moron with great ambitions.... sound familiar? Remember Bush?


    July 4, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Tom in CA



    July 4, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. FONZI

    It is all politics! Palin right now is not so popular at home and this will tarnish any republican gubernatorial candidate's chances in the next gubernatorial election.Just like Bush's unfavourable rating spoilt McCain's chances.Palin's resignation now, gives the current Lt.Governor time to erase any unfavourable republican rating in Alaska due to Palin,hence improving the Lt.Governor's or any other repblican's chances at the next gubernatorial election.With Palin's resignation, she hopes to get out of the spotlite while effectively preparing and building a strong coalition for a presidential run.

    Loose one (her resignation now) to gain two (a republican victory at the next Alaskan gubernatorial election in 2010) and a possible successful presidenial run in 2012 for Plain).Smart politics,Go, Palin,GO.!!l

    July 4, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. Mish

    I am so tired of this *Drama Queen**
    she should take the time off to educate herself
    My 11 year old grandson talks more intelligently than her
    She is an embarrassement to women
    John McCain definitely created a *monster* when he picked her

    July 4, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. carol

    Alaska's greatest gift????? If Parnell believes that he is more delusional than Palin. She is entertainment, nothing of substance.

    July 4, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  9. Robin

    As CNN allows hundreds of hateful comments to be posted, please let us remember that she is a good woman and was a popular governor. She did not incite hate, as some libs like to cry. She only brought up that President Obama had some shady friends. You know the friends that Hillary and Joe also mentioned.

    The media and the blood thirsty left wing has not left this woman alone.

    Make a doll and name it Malia or Sasha, "How dare they!" Make fun of Sarah Palin's kids, "How funny!" Double standard much?

    Liberal motto..."Live free until you don't agree with us. Then your dead."

    July 4, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. JayG

    Although I am a Republican and do like Palin for the most part, I dont really understand the move. I also think that Palin gets to much bad press and dont really understand the hate most people have for her. Obama has made some stupid statements too, like he visited all 57 states during the campaign, and you dont hear the hate on him calling him stupid. If any comments were ever made about Obama's children, the media would be all over it and calling for the persons head, meanwhile that happens to Palin and it somehow goes with the territory.

    July 4, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  11. Randy, San Francisco

    Palin's political career should end here as an obscure footnote in the pages of presidential politics. Unfortunately she will rise from the ashes like the Phoenix thanks to the conservate purists in the GOP.

    July 4, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  12. Shayne in NH

    Of course he is going to praise her and be happy! Now he's in charge!! I'm surprised that with Palin's massive ego she even allowed for a Lt-Governor in the first place. I know what.....I bet she quit so she can write a new US Constitution more in line with her ambitions.

    July 4, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  13. Rick

    With the rabid Left bound and determined to bring down and discredit anyone who is not fully on board with the Obama fantasy world, this is probably best for Alaska.

    July 4, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  14. Joyce Becker

    Sean Parnell the soon to be Governor of Alaska must be very happy to take over Alaska and do the job of running the State, something that Palin neglected to do adequately. She just got up and quit her job, no reason at all, unless you call her rambling remarks reasons, Alaska needs a full time governor, not some nut case like Palin.
    Why was Senator Murkowski saddened by Palin just up and quitting, I doubt if Murowski liked Palin very much and I am sure she is glad that Palin is gone from Alaska's politics.

    July 4, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  15. Alan

    So this is the leadership the Republicans want for our nation. If things get tough - quit. There's a LOT more going on here we don't know about. Bill Clinton was dogged and hammered and challenged every step of the way beginning as governor of Arkansas...did he step down? It's what the Republicans were hoping...but he stood firm and still managed to do a magnificent job, handing a surplus of cash over to GW and crew.

    I think Sarah's more concerned about her record. She's not getting her way all the time any more. In her own state, she's no longer the "darling." She's afraid future failings will hurt her self-serving attempts to advance her own agenda more than this dumb-headed move will.

    In my humble opinion, it looks like a SERIOUS mis-calculation.

    She just handed ANY opposition she may ever run against HUGE ammunition. If Sarah thinks people are trying to "bring her down" now, wait till she tries to run for any major office with the public record she's just built for herself blasted on every opposition ad.

    July 4, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. Jane

    What does she mean " I know when it's time to pass the ball". Don't most elected officials stay in office until their term is up? Unless they're forced out by scandal. I think with most things she does, this is all about her. Perhaps the state of Alaska is better off without her.

    July 4, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. The Clear Thinking Independent Voter

    Ms. Palin has opted to make money with a 7-figure book deal and likely a 6-figure annual salary from a tlevision show on Fox. Both of these will enrich her more than she could have ever dreamed.

    Too bad for America's psyche that she is reaping this riches primarily because she was selected as running mate to McCain who failed miserably. It is her "celebrity status" that is bringing her these opportunities ... not her competence.

    If there is any "justice" in politics ... an oxymoron to be sure ... the American public will reject her for ANY future national office ... she never demonstrated the goods and by quitting now, no matter how she spins it, that is how she will be remembered. We will never accept a VP or POTUS that walks off the job.

    But she will be wealthy now .... that's all that matters in Republican circles ... she has cashed in her Powerball ticket ... and some people will think that she is a "smart" person now and will listen to her for all the wrong reasons.

    Can't fault her if she wants to become a private citizen that locked her 15 minutes of fame into some wealth but I don't want to hear political or social commentary from her.

    July 4, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. Dixon

    I don't believe for a minute that she is putting anyone ahead of her personal interests. She has figured out she can make more money on a speaking tour. It may be that the many ethics issues she has out there will be found soon.

    July 4, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. Kevin in Atlanta, GA

    This is leadership? Quitting before her term is up?

    Seems to me she's trying to get out of the spotlight before she accumulates any more negatives which would jeopardize her 2012 presidential aspirations.

    July 4, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. Jeff

    So let's see does this mean if she was elected president and she chose not to run again or couldn't run again, she would just give up and quite in the middle of her term?

    July 4, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  21. Joe the Troll

    Maybe we can re-gift her to Canada on Boxing Day or something.......

    July 4, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. Kevin Seifert -- Evansville, IN

    I always think it's interesting when some politician says "faith and family." They put their religion first. I think when you prioritize a religion over your family either you don't value the real-world people, or you belong to a cult that inserts itself ahead of what one should value most. I think it' shows a bad set of values. Or they are just lying.

    July 4, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. Jim

    If Palin is Alaska's greatest gift to the United States we need to be a union of 49 states instead of 50. If that is the best Alaska has to offer this country would be better off without them. Maybe her husband was on to something with his succession group. He may be a Patriot after all trying to save our beloved country from his wife.

    July 4, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. Alfred E. Neumann

    Apparently Sean Parnell is one of the few people not on the payroll of CNN or MSNBC.

    July 4, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. sharon, newport news, virginia

    There is no way Palin is going to stay quiet. Her ego will never let that happen. She loves the cameras and will say or do anything to get in front of them. She has an ulterior motive and she can't stay out of the cameras for very long. If you look atr the polls, she has lost a lot of support and it could very well be that she realizes now that in 18 months she could easily lose the election for governor. Little job of governor is way to small for this egomaniac and she will be seeking any way to get herself more publicity. Mark my words!!!! Sarah Palin i9s not out of politics. You will see more of her now than you have been seeing. First she will make the network tours for interviews(24/7 news requires them to fill up a lot of time so they will desperately use some of the time to interview her as to why she quit and when that has dided down then her real reason for leaving will be revealed. For her it is all about publicity!!! and she really believes that the American people would elect her President(what a joke)

    July 4, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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