Palin Says Alaska Tour "Is Not Farewell" | NBC New York

Palin Says Alaska Tour "Is Not Farewell"

The former veep candidate says it's a "thanks" and "see you soon" tour

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    Gov. Sarah Palin made eight trips in two weeks around Alaska after announcing her resignation from governorship two weeks ago.

    Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin insists that her recent whirlwind tour around Alaska during her final days as governor of the state are not part of a goodbye-tour.

    The conservative governor has taken eight trips around her home state since her stunning July 3 resignation announcement, sparking speculation that she's preparing to leave Alaska for the national stage. But the former vice presidential candidate says she's not going anywhere.

    "I am Alaskan. I've grown up here, and I'm going to remain in Alaska," she told The Associated Press.

    In her final weeks as governor, Palin has crisscrossed Alaska, signing autographs, posing for pictures and eating local cuisine from fishing villages and some towns so remote they can only be accessed by air.

    Palin says she's just saying "thanks."

    "It's not farewell, it's more like thanks for letting me be here and I'll see you soon," she said.

    So where's the outdoorsy Alaskan mom headed to now? Palin's responses do little to clarify her plans.

    "I look forward to continuing to work for Alaska and for energy independence and for the contribution that Alaska could and should be making to allow our nation to be more secure and more prosperous," she said.

    Amid national criticism for her abrupt resignation 18 months short of her term's end, Palin said Alaskans accept her decision to step down July 26, and that's what matters most.

    "We don't give a damn how they do it outside," she said, quoting a popular state bumper sticker. "We do it a different way up here. The pioneer spirit runs strong."