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Alaskan Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who will succeed Gov. Sarah Palin after she leaves office this month, called Palin Alaska's greatest gift to the United States on Saturday.
I don't know about the ex-Alaskan Governor being such a great gift. I always thought of Sarah Palin as an empty dress and a joke. But I guess I might have to reconsider my judgment on this.
Aleksandr Baranov trader, public official, Russia
Margaret Elizabeth Bell author
Benny Benson designed state flag at age 13, Chignik
Vitus Bering explorer, Denmark
Charles E. Bunnell educator
William A. Egan first state governor
Carl Ben Eielson pioneer pilot
Henry E. Gruennig political leader
B. Frank Heintzleman territorial governor
Walter J. Hickel former governor
Sheldon Jackson educator and missionary, Minaville, NY
Joe Juneau prospector
Austin Lathrop industrialist
Sydney Lawrence painter
John Griffith (Jack) London author, San Francisco, CA
Ray Mala actor
John Muir naturalist, explorer, Scotland
Virgil F. Partch cartoonist
Joe Redington, Sr. sled-dog musher and promoter
Ted Stevens, Senator
But I am really not sure how Palin matches up with Joe Reddington, the sled dog musher or Joe Juneau, the prospector. I will say that I am partial to Jack London the great author of books like "The Call of the Wild" as being a greater gift to the United States than Sarah Palin.
But even if you think the former Alaska Governor and John McCain running mate is such a big deal. Do you really think that Palin is more important to America than Alaska's great natural resources?
- By far, Alaska's most important revenue source is the oil and natural gas industry, about 90% of the state's revenues.
- Alaska accounts for 25% of the oil produced in the United States.
- World's largest producer of zinc: Red Dog Mine
- The seafood processing and fishing industries are also important to Alaska. The fishing and seafood industry is the state's largest private industry employer. Alaska's waters are rich in seafood. Most of America's salmon, crab, halibut, and herring come from Alaska.
- Forestry is important to Alaska's economy, especially that of the southeastern region. The timber industry, though currently undergoing much reform, provides thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to Southeast Alaska. The Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska contains nearly seventeen million acres and is the largest national forest in the United States.
But she is likely Alaska's greatest gift and I am not. So I can only marvel at her greatness and her selfless service to the people of Alaska.
Now not everyone is happy with Palin's selfless service.
"I am deeply disappointed that the Governor has decided to abandon the State and her constituents before her term has concluded," U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska wrote in a statement.
But Senator Mukowski should consider that Palin is probably Alaska's greatest gift to America and she shouldn't be so tough on the former Governor. After all, Alaska has another great gift to America, Senator Ted Stevens. He is the longest serving Republican in Senate history and he was recently was found guilty of making false statements about his failure to properly report gifts from an oil industry executive. But he was so great that his conviction was overturned due to posecutorial misconduct.
So, the Great Senator Stevens is still there for Alaska and America even if the Greatest Sarah Palin has to serve Alaska by resigning.
Palin was so great that she understood that the best way to help the people of Alaska was for her to resign as Governor. Now how is that for greatness?
Alaska has given America a lot of great gifts, like Senator Stevens, but none is likely greater than Sarah Palin. I now have to rethink my thinking on Palin based on the future Governor Parnell's assessment of her and all of the information that I have gathered.
Sarah Palin demonstrates that greatness is as greatness does. Now she will have more time to serve Alaska by not serving Alaska and thus making a becomming an even greater gift to America.