The following is a rough transcript of Sarah Palin’s speech in Wasilla, Alaska on Friday, July 3, in which she announced that she would be resigning as governor. I appreciate you all being here on the shores of Lake Lucille, which has served as a source of inspiration for my family for years, and not just because it’s a dead lake running over with oil, antifreeze, de-icing solvents and leaching sewage. Some people call Lake Lucille a “dead lake,” but I like to think a lake is more than just a place where fish have enough oxygen to live.
I wanted to thank my husband Todd for coming in from the commercial fishing grounds in Bristol Bay where he was called away from his ling cod and kelp perch so that he and I could speak to you on the eve of our Independence Day. It’s a day to remember how our forefathers gave up so much—gave everything—so that we could live in peace, something we should remember as we wage war in Central Asia.
Now, I love Alaska. As you remember, Alaska was one of the last states admitted to the union. It was purchased when Secretary of State Seward bought it from Russia in 1867 only because the short-sighted Russian tsar saw it as a remote ice box that was difficult to defend and would be easier to sell than to lose in two seconds to some aggressor. And while it was long-known as Seward’s Folly by tut-tutting critics, we resilient Alaskans have proved them all wrong by creating a glorious Republican welfare state where sewer pipes run five feet above ground over the permafrost.
Alaska has been blessed by God with clean air and natural resources and fresh water. God gave us power. By God, he gave it us. Drill baby drill.
Four years ago, I promised to be a different kind of governor four years ago. Now you may be asking, didn’t I only become governor two and a half years ago? Maybe. But I don’t stick to rules; I told you I would be anything but conventional.
Together, you and I, we pushed through the largest private sector energy project ever: the AGIA gas line. We became energy independent by making sure energy was in the hands of the energy companies that make the profits that go to America’s companies. We built a prison to be filled up with prisoners. We protected states’ rights in the Supreme Court, even though I am not on that illustrious bench.
We did everything we needed to do and then I reached the national spotlight. I am not a quitter. Thus, I am passing the torch.
As you know, life is short. One can’t waste time and resources by compromising and staying in one's job until it is finished.
I hate apathy. And by that I mean, just going on day in and day out working in a job I was hired for after actively lobbying for it with millions of dollars of campaign contributions. Just going along and doing what you are told because it’s your job—that’s not what we Alaskans are about. If you doubt me, look at the oil company rebate checks we have to prove it. We can’t be apathetic when we quit our jobs. No, when we quit, we must do it with the full force of our convictions.
When Alaskans began drilling, we showed our mettle and took whatever money was given to us and kept our heads down. And now we have more freedom and more prosperity. It’s a good day for America.
I’ve always said no more politics as usual, and that I am a fisherman. The national press won’t tell you what is a fisherman, but we here in Wasilla can tell you: a fisherman does not float downstream dead. Nor will I.
There’s nothing worse than a quitter. I hate quitting and that's why I'm leaving office. The national press might tell you that I’m a quitter only because they’re going by the dictionary definition: “Someone who quits a job.” How true that is. But in Alaska, quitting has another meaning. Staying in your job.
Being a public figure is about self-sacrifice and being a point guard and not not keeping your eye on the basket. Did you see what I did there? That was a double negative there to make you realize I was talking about the opposite thing. And by that I mean you do want to keep your eye on the basket.
I have always said that I’m about small government and protecting the land and drilling for resources and exploiting the minerals as we protect the environment. And now we have shown that we are as good as we walk the walk.
I don’t want to waste Alaska’s money and time by being a lame duck. If I were here as governor, I promise you I would have in just a few months wasted all of your money in scurrilous and monumentally dishonest ways. So I had no choice but to do the right thing and remove myself from politics so that we would not have politics as usual. I play a different way. Some people might have said: "Finish the term you ran for, Sarah." But I won't play their game.
I think often of a saying on a refrigerator magnet in my parents’ house: “It’s not my business what anybody thinks of me.” And I can't. I have to do the right thing and I just can't if I am given the job of overseeing your tax money and building roads and hiring policeman. Of course, I have a special needs child, and people are cruel.
Now, we still need people to fight the good fight and not believe the national media with their scurrilous questions about where Africa is and whether it is a sovereign country or not. That is me calling an audible and passing the ball in hopes that next time, someone else will be asked whether Africa is a continent or not. But for me personally, I don’t need a title like “governor of Alaska” to answer or not answer direct questions. I can work for you or not work for you in other ways.
At times like these, I like to take these words from General Douglas MacArthur: people who need people are the luckiest people. The luckiest people in the world. Please welcome our new governor Sean Parnell and I am seceding from the union.