Below I present the full transcript of Sarah Palin’s recent speech announcing her resignation as Governor of Alaska with about a year and a half left on her term, with added commentary by the management.
Hi Alaska, (Hi, Sarah.) I appreciate speaking directly to you, the people I serve, as your Governor.
People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing’s more important to me than our beloved Alaska. (And the national attention these three things bring to me.) Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine. (Please keep this opening sentence in mind…you’ll love the irony coming up in a few minutes.)
I want Alaskans to grasp what can be in store for our state. We were purchased as a territory because a member of President Abe Lincoln’s cabinet, William Seward, providentially saw in this great land, vast riches, beauty, strategic placement on the globe, and opportunity. (He wasn’t too bright, that William.) He boldly looked “North to the Future”. But he endured such ridicule and mocking for his vision for Alaska, remember the adversaries scoffed, calling this “Seward’s Folly”. Seward withstood such disdain as he chose the uncomfortable, unconventional, but RIGHT path to secure Alaska, so Alaska could help secure the United States. (Because he originally thought it would be a great place to ship America’s criminals, hence his original proposed named for Alaska: Australia.)
Alaska’s mission – to contribute to America. (By diverting the nation’s mockery away from Delaware.) We’re strategic IN the world as the air crossroads OF the world, as a gatekeeper of the continent. (Assuming everyone comes to America from Russia by kayak.) Bold visionaries knew this – Alaska would be part of America’s great destiny.
Our destiny to be reached by responsibly developing our natural resources. This land, blessed with clean air, water, wildlife, minerals, AND oil and gas. It’s energy! God gave us energy. (Satan is responsible for the evil polar bear guards that try to keep us from it.)
So to serve the state is a humbling responsibility, because I know in my soul that Alaska is of such import, for America’s security, in our very volatile world. And you know me by now, I promised even four years ago to show MY independence… no more conventional “politics as usual”. (No political grandstanding! No self-aggrandizing vision of myself or my state’s role in the national scheme! No ambitious grabs for power beyond the scope of my capabilities! No, that wasn’t the irony I was talking about. Wait for it…)
And we are doing well! My administration’s accomplishments speak for themselves. We work tirelessly for Alaskans. (I mean, we have nothing else to do around here…)
We aggressively and responsibly develop our resources because they were created to be used to better our world… to HELP people… and we protect the environment (Except the polar bears) and Alaskans (the resource owners) foremost with our policies.
Here’s some of the things we’ve done:
We created a petroleum integrity office to oversee safe development. We held the line FOR Alaskans on Point Thomson – and finally for the first time in decades – they’re drilling for oil and gas. (I hope you appreciate how much nature we trashed to do it.)
We have AGIA, the gasline project – a massive bi-partisan victory (the vote was 58 to 1!) – also succeeding as intended – protecting Alaskans as our clean natural gas will flow to energize us, and America, through a competitive, pro-private sector project. This is the largest private sector energy project, ever. THIS is energy independence. (We provide a whole 11 percent of the nation’s gas! That’s, like, a lot!)
And ACES – another bipartisan effort – is working as intended and industry is publicly acknowledging its success. Our new oil and gas “clear and equitable formula” is so Alaskans will no longer be taken advantage of. (Now, if we can only stop the alcohol industry from taking advantage of us.) ACES incentivizes NEW exploration and development and JOBS that were previously not going to happen with a monopolized North Slope oil basin.
We cleaned up previously accepted unethical actions; we ushered in bi-partisan Ethics Reform. (Now we have a much higher quality of unethical behavior.)
We also slowed the rate of government growth, we worked with the Legislature to save billions of dollars for the future, (Once we got past that whole Bridge To Nowhere hoo-hah) and I made no lobbyist friends with my hundreds of millions of dollars in budget vetoes… but living beyond our means today is irresponsible for tomorrow.
We took government out of the dairy business and put it back into private-sector hands – where it should be. (Because, really, what senator wants to milk cows in a designer suit?)
We provided unprecedented support for education initiatives, and with the right leadership, finally filled long-vacant public safety positions. (Some of them with people who weren’t related to me.) We built a sub-Cabinet on Climate Change (While still keeping government small…isn’t that a neat trick?) and took heat from Outside special interests for our biologically-sound wildlife management for abundance. (Which is a nice way of saying “We kill polar bears.”)
We broke ground on the new prison. (Even though critics said it was redundant to build a prison in Alaska.)
And we made common sense conservative choices to eliminate personal luxuries like the jet, the chef, the junkets… the entourage. (We now travel to the lower 48 as the common man would: in the back of tractor trailers…look close and you can me and the kids in episode four of the History Channel’s hit show “Ice Road Truckers.”)
And the Lt. Governor and I said “no” to our pay raises. (We’d just blow it on Old Thunderbird anyway.) So much success in this first term – and with this success I am proud to take credit (Proud, eager…greedy, even.) … for hiring the right people! (Even those who aren’t in-laws.) Our goal was to achieve a gasline project, more fair oil and gas valuation, and ethics reform in four years. We did it in two. It’s because of the people… good public servants surrounding the Governor’s office, with servants’ hearts and astounding work ethic… THEY are Alaska’s success! (Me? I’m just here to claim some of it for myself.)
We are doing well! I wish you’d hear MORE from the media of your state’s progress and how we tackle Outside interests – daily – SPECIAL interests that would stymie our state. Even those debt-ridden stimulus dollars that would force the heavy hand of federal government into our communities with an “all-knowing attitude” – I have taken the slings and arrows with that unpopular move to veto because I know being right is better than being popular. (So far I’m neither, but you have to give me credit for trying, right? Right? High five! C’mon, Alaska, don’t leave me hanging.) Some of those dollars would harm Alaska and harm America – I resisted those dollars because of the obscene national debt we’re forcing our children to pay, because of today’s Big Government spending; it’s immoral and doesn’t even make economic sense! (And if I’d been elected to the vice-presidency along with the guy who supported the war that created the bulk of the debt in the first place? HOO, would I have given him an earful!)
Another accomplishment – our Law Department protected states’ rights – TWO huge U.S. Supreme Court reversals came down against that liberal Ninth Circuit, (Remember, kids, everything is liberals’ fault, because us conservatives have never done anything wrong. Just ask Governor Sanford! No, wait…can I have a do-over on that one?) deciding in OUR state’s favor over the last two weeks. We’re protectors of our Constitution (Except the parts securing the right of habeus corpus and blocking warrantless wiretaps)– federalists protect states’ rights as mandated in 10th amendment.
But you don’t hear much of the good stuff in the press anymore, do you? (Because instead of talking about that, I go on TV to gripe about David Letterman.)
Some say things changed for me on August 29th last year – the day John McCain tapped me to be his running-mate – I say others changed.
Let me speak to that for a minute. (It’s going to take me a while to explain why nothing that’s happened since then is actually my fault or responsibility. And I’d love it if you actually listened, my speechwriters were up all night trying to bend logic.)
Political operatives descended on Alaska last August, digging for dirt. (I told them, we don’t have dirt, only tundra, but did they listen? Nooooo!) The ethics law I championed became their weapon of choice. Over the past nine months I’ve been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations – such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters’ questions. (I answered them with prepared answers that had nothing to do with their questions, but still –!)
Every one – all 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. We’ve won! But it hasn’t been cheap – the State has wasted THOUSANDS of hours of YOUR time and shelled out some two million of YOUR dollars to respond to “opposition research” – that’s money NOT going to fund teachers or troopers – or safer roads. (We would have had the world’s largest stockpile of salt and sand if it weren’t for them.) And this political absurdity, the “politics of personal destruction” … Todd and I are looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills in order to set the record straight. (Where am I supposed to get that kind of money? Half my paycheck is in king crab legs!) And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn’t cost them a dime so they’re not going to stop draining public resources – spending other peoples’ money in their game.
It’s pretty insane – my staff and I spend most of our day dealing with THIS instead of progressing our state now. I know I promised no more “politics as usual,” but THIS isn’t what anyone had in mind for ALASKA.
If I have learned one thing: LIFE is about choices! (Unless you want to get an abortion.)
And one chooses how to react to circumstances. You can choose to engage in things that tear down, or build up. I choose to work very hard on a path for fruitfulness and productivity. I choose NOT to tear down and waste precious time (All those things I said about Obama lacking experience? I wasn’t tearing him down, I was building myself up! Big difference!); but to build UP this state and our country, and her industrious, generous, patriotic, free people!
Life is too short to compromise time and resources… it may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: “Sit down and shut up”, but that’s the worthless, easy path; that’s a quitter’s way out. (Compromise is for losers!) And a problem in our country today is apathy. (For instance: why are people so apathetic toward me?) It would be apathetic to just hunker down and “go with the flow”.
Nah, only dead fish “go with the flow”. (Well, dead fish and white-water rafters, but I have nothing against them.)
No. Productive, fulfilled people determine where to put their efforts, choosing to wisely utilize precious time… to BUILD UP.
And there is such a need to BUILD up and FIGHT for our state and our country. I choose to FIGHT for it! (Get ready, that big irony bomb is about to go off!) And I’ll work hard for others who still believe in free enterprise and smaller government; strong national security for our country and support for our troops; energy independence; and for those who will protect freedom and equality and LIFE… I’ll work for and campaign for those PROUD to be American, and those who are INSPIRED by our ideals and won’t deride them.
I WILL support others who seek to serve, in or out of office, for the RIGHT reasons, and I don’t care what party they’re in or no party at all. (As long as they’re conservative Republicans, because what has bi-partisan support ever gotten us? Hey, I see you going back through the transcript to read my comment about bi-partisan accomplishments! Stop trying to use my own words against me!) Inside Alaska – or Outside Alaska.
But I won’t do it from the Governor’s desk.
I’ve never believed that I, nor anyone else, needs a title to do this – to make a difference… to HELP people. So I choose, for my State and my family, more “freedom” to progress, all the way around… so that Alaska may progress… I will not seek re-election as Governor. (Pause for shocked gasps and despondent groans. Pause. Pause. Any minute now. Yep. Any minute now. Why aren’t they reacting? Oh, jeez, I haven’t said anything for two whole minutes and now they’re all looking at me funny. All right, forge ahead, Sarah…)
And so as I thought about this announcement that I wouldn’t run for re-election and what it means for Alaska, I thought about how much fun some governors have as lame ducks (That Romney fella, for instance.)… travel around the state, to the Lower 48 (maybe), overseas on international trade – as so many politicians do. And then I thought – that’s what’s wrong – many just accept that lame duck status, hit the road, draw the paycheck, and “milk it”. I’m not putting Alaska through that – I promised efficiencies and effectiveness! ? That’s not how I am wired. I am not wired to operate under the same old “politics as usual.” I promised that four years ago – and I meant it. (BOOM!)
It’s not what is best for Alaska. (To be clear: if I stuck around I deliberately wouldn’t do the job you elected me to do, and that would be a big insult to you. Admitting now I’d just be taking up space and leaving under the pretense I’m doing you a favor? Much smaller insult.)
I am determined to take the right path for Alaska even though it is unconventional and not so comfortable. (KInd of like my love life with Todd. Ba-dum bum! What, nothing? That was comic gold! C’mon people, throw a dog a bone here!)
With this announcement that I am not seeking re-election… I’ve determined it’s best to transfer the authority of governor to Lieutenant Governor Parnell (What with him being the constitutionally defined second-in-command and all); and I am willing to do so, so that this administration – with its positive agenda, its accomplishments, and its successful road to an incredible future – can continue without interruption and with great administrative and legislative success. (My rock-bottom approval numbers have absolutely nothing to do with it.)
My choice is to take a stand and effect change (By not taking a stand. Isn’t that zen?) – not hit our heads against the wall and watch valuable state time and money, millions of your dollars, go down the drain in this new environment. Rather, we know we can effect positive change outside government at this moment in time, on another scale, and actually make a difference for our priorities – and so we will, for Alaskans and for Americans.
Let me go back to a comfortable analogy for me – sports… basketball. (Because basketball and Alaska are inextricably linked…like Florida and ice hockey.) I use it because you’re naïve if you don’t see the national full-court press picking away right now: (Or you don’t know anything about sports, which is just as bad.) A good point guard drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her eye on the basket… and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can WIN. And I’m doing that – keeping our eye on the ball that represents sound priorities – smaller government, energy independence, national security, freedom! And I know when it’s time to pass the ball – for victory. (Unless that ball is stolen mid-pass by an athletic black man who will take my ball and sink a winning basket that earns him the championship and I have to go back to the locker room so the people I thought were my teammates can ridicule me and blame me for the loss, which is really their fault because they were dumb enough to pick someone for their team who didn’t really know how to play the game, then they all go out for consolation beers but don’t invite her and spend the night making fun of her accent and — okay, I seem to have gone off my written remarks, let me find where I was. Okay, here we go…)
I have given my reasons candidly and truthfully (If not logically or coherently.)… and my last day won’t be for another few weeks so the transition will be very smooth. In fact, we will look to swear Sean in – in Fairbanks at the conclusion of our Governor’s picnics.
I do not want to disappoint anyone with my decision; (You are disappointed, right? Right? Dang it, people…) all I can ask is that you TRUST me with this decision – but it’s no more “politics as usual”.
Some Alaskans don’t mind wasting public dollars and state time. I do. I cannot stand here as your Governor and allow millions upon millions of our dollars go to waste just so I can hold the title of Governor. And my children won’t allow it either. (Because they’re really all sick of being the butt of jokes because I’m such an inept, clueless twit.) Some will question the timing. Let’s just say, this decision has been in the works for awhile…(In fact, if you read my original campaign materials, you’ll see a premature resignation for vague and apparently benevolent reasons was part of my game plan.)
In fact, this decision comes after much consideration, and finally polling the most important people in my life – my children, where the count was unanimous… well, in response to asking: “Want me to make a positive difference and fight for ALL our children’s future from OUTSIDE the Governor’s office?” It was four “yes’s” and one “hell yeah!” (They read their scripted lines perfectly! I’m so proud.) The “hell yeah” sealed it – and someday I’ll talk about the details of that… I think much of it had to do with the kids seeing their baby brother Trig mocked by some pretty mean-spirited adults recently. (He’ll receive enough mockery in school because of his goofy name, so let’s not rush things.) Um, by the way, sure wish folks could ever, ever understand that we ALL could learn so much from someone like Trig – I know he needs me, but I need him even more… what a child can offer to set priorities RIGHT – that time is precious… the world needs more “Trigs”, not fewer. (So get out there and breed, you slackers!)
My decision was also fortified during this most recent trip to Kosovo and Landstuhl, (Which are outside of the US, so take that, all you jerks who said I had no foreign policy experience!) to visit our wounded soldiers overseas, those who sacrifice themselves in war for OUR freedom and security… we can ALL learn from our selfless Troops… they’re bold, they don’t give up, they take a stand and know that LIFE is short so they choose to NOT waste time. They choose to be productive and to serve something greater than SELF (It’s a lesson I should take to heart, really.)… and to build up their families, their states, our country. These Troops and their important missions – those are truly the worthy causes in this world and should be the public priority with time and resources and NOT this local / superficial wasteful political bloodsport. (So, to recap: it’s the public’s fault I won’t do squat during my final months in office because all they want is to pick on my kids and ignore how I transformed Alaska from a barren wasteland to a modern-day Eden…with snow.)
May we ALL learn from them!
First things first: as Governor, I love my job and I love Alaska.(So much that I am refusing to tough it out and do my job until the end of my term…) It hurts to make this choice but I am doing what’s best for Alaska. I’ve explained why… though I think of the saying on my parents’ refrigerator that says “Don’t explain: your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe you anyway.” (So I guess this entire press conference was a big waste of time, huh?)
But I have given my reasons… no more “politics as usual” (Again: not my fault!) and I am taking my fight for what’s right – for Alaska – in a new direction. (Away, as fast as my high heels can carry me.)
Now, despite this, I don’t want any Alaskan dissuaded from entering politics (Though lord know I’ve given you no motivation to enter politics) after seeing this REAL “climate change” that began in August (Not that fake climate change that has been widely debunked by scientists funded by Big Oil)… no, we NEED hardworking, average Americans fighting for what’s right! And I will support you because we need YOU and YOU can effect change, and I can too on the outside.
We need those who will respect our Constitution (When it’s convenient to do so) where government’s supposed to serve from the BOTTOM UP, not move toward this TOP DOWN big government take-over… but rather, will be protectors of individual rights (That agree with the conservative agenda) - who also have enough common sense to acknowledge when conditions have drastically changed and are willing to call an audible and pass the ball when it’s time so the team can win! And that is what I’m doing! (Without me on the team, victory is assured! With me on the court, well, we’re all screwed.)
Remember Alaska… America is now, more than ever, looking North to the Future. (Bet you didn’t think the future would have no sunlight for an entire month, did you?) It’ll be good. So God bless you, and from me and my family – to ALL Alaska – you have my heart.
And we will be in the capable hands of our Lieutenant Governor, Sean Parnell. And Lieutenant General Craig Campbell will assume the role of Lieutenant Governor. And it is my promise to you that I will always be standing by, ready to assist. (No, that wasn’t meant as a threat! Shut up, you jerks!) We have a good, positive agenda for Alaska.
In the words of General MacArthur said, “We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.” (And I hope the door doesn’t smack me in the keister on my way out.)
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.