- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 8, 2009

KOTZEBUE, Alaska | Soon-to-be-ex-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin insisted Tuesday that she’s a fighter, not a quitter, but added in a string of interviews that, politically speaking, “if I die, I die. So be it.”

Sporting tan fishing waders and a T-shirt, Mrs. Palin defended her July 3 decision to resign as governor in half a dozen interviews that were broadcast and published Tuesday morning. The former Republican vice presidential candidate invited the media to Dillingham, an Alaska town of about 2,500, where she was fishing with her husband, Todd, and their children.

Mrs. Palin wouldn’t rule out a 2012 presidential run and told CNN that “all options are on the table” for her future.

“I don’t know what doors will be open or closed by then,” the Republican told Time magazine.

But she told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she recognizes that she might not have political staying power after her surprise resignation, which came just as she had been expected to elevate her national profile ahead of a possible 2012 Republican presidential run.

“I said before … ‘You know, politically speaking, if I die, I die. So be it,’ ” she said.

“I’m not going to take the comfortable path. I’m going to take the right path for the state,” she said of her resignation, which she characterized as a matter of progressing in an unconventional way.

“That caught people off-guard. … It’s out of the box and unconventional. That’s what we are as Alaskans and certainly how I am as a public servant.”

Mrs. Palin criticized President Obama, a possible sign she’s looking toward the 2012 presidential race.

“President Obama is growing government outrageously, and it’s immoral and it’s uneconomic, his plan that he tries to sell America,” she told Time. “His plan to ‘put America on the right track’ economically, incurring the debt that our nation is incurring, trillions of dollars that we’re passing on to our kids, expecting them to pay off for us, is immoral and doesn’t even make economic sense.”

Mrs. Palin told the Anchorage Daily News she stepped down because ethics complaints against her and her squabble with lawmakers would have paralyzed the state for the 18 months she had left in office.

“Especially when all these lawmakers are lining up for office,” she said. “Their desire would be to clobber the administration left and right so that they can position themselves for office. I’m not going to put Alaskans through that.”

She told the paper that she believes her successor, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who will take office on July 26, will defuse the controversy that surrounds her.

“With Sean in the governor’s seat, it won’t be the politics of personal destruction, I don’t believe,” Mrs. Palin said.

She added she wasn’t sure what her next step would be.

“I can’t predict the next fish run much less what’s going to happen in a few years,” she told the Daily News. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m going to keep working hard for Alaska.”

There has been speculation that she has some legal issue that is not yet known to the public. But her lawyer told the Associated Press on Monday that she has no legal problems whatsoever and simply is tired of the hostile political climate, legal bills and other distractions.

“She is leaving now because I think she believes that she has become the issue, rightly or wrongly, with all these ethics complaints and with the issues involving the legislature, the combativeness they’ve been demonstrating toward her since she returned from the campaign,” said Thomas Van Flein, Mrs. Palin’s attorney

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