By Ben Tan — July 27, 2009
Sarah Palin resigned as Alaska governor yesterday, in front of thousands of cheering supporters.
Palin pledged to continue fighting for independence from Washington and for Americans’ personal freedoms “as that grizzly guards her cubs.”
The attendees vowed to keep Palin’s feisty, down-home political legacy alive. The hand-over to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell at a family-style picnic marked an unexpected end to a brief but notable governorship. The 45-year-old hockey mom shook the Republican Party and propelled Alaska’s frontier-style, moose-meat-picnic politics into the national spotlight.
She famously described herself as a “pit bull with lipstick” last year, when she accepted the Republican vice presidential nomination.
“Let’s not start believing that government is the answer,” said Palin before a crowd of about 5,000 at Pioneer Park.
“It can’t help make you healthy or wealthy or wise. What can? It is the wisdom of the people. . . . It is God’s grace, helping those who help themselves.”
Palin, Alaska’s first female governor, stood at the podium in a conservative black pantsuit, joined by husband Todd and two of their daughters, Piper and Willow.
Palin chastised those who question why she stepped down 18 months before her term ends, showing no sadness or second thoughts.
“It should be so obvious to you,” she said.
“It is because I love Alaska this much, sir, that I feel that it is my duty to avoid the unproductive, typical politics-as-usual lame-duck session in one’s last year in office. . . . I will be able to fight even harder for you, for what is right. And I have never felt that you need a title to do that.”
She took an opportunity to criticize the media, which she claims distorted her statements and fueled controversies surrounding her.
“You represent what could and should be a respected and honest profession,” she said, “that could and should be a cornerstone of our democracy.”
“Democracy depends on you, and that is why our troops are willing to die for you. So how about in honor of the American soldier you quit making things up?
These moments of the speech drew the loudest applause.
“Our new governor has a very nice family too,” she added, “so leave his kids alone.”