As the news broke across Juneau of Gov. Sarah Palin's resignation, residents responded with surprise, empathy and happiness. Tourists and locals alike were speaking in coffee shops, bars, gift shops and street corners in the capital about the surprise departure Friday.
But in a city that was politically skewed against her in the 2006 governor's election and the 2008 presidential race, criticism predominated. On Franklin Street, some sang, "Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead!" and a sign posted on the bar door of The Triangle Club read "PALIN RESIGNS. It truly is Independence Day!!! Yippee!"
Lance Mitchell: "I was surprised. I thought she would be around for at least a term. I don't know what would make her cheese out. I didn't think she focused enough on Alaska, I think she focused more on her popularity."
Wendell Cluchey: "I was surprised. I really support her. I think what she's doing is probably an intellectual and political move on her part. I think she's probably doing something decisive and correct. I have a lot of confidence in her. I think what she's doing is going to be all right. I empathize with her situation with the government of the United States and Alaska. I support her 100 percent. Hopefully someday she'll be our next president."
Vicki Von Fleet: "I think it shows the true mettle of who she really is. And that her personal ambitions are paramount, in her mind, to the duties for which she was elected for. I would hope that the rest of the country sees this act as indicative of the type of person she truly is."
Sam Wanamaker: "I was happy. She doesn't like Southeast. She don't like Juneau. She won't even stay in the mansion. To hell with her. I think she was doing a nice job. She did a good job with the oil companies. I just didn't like her because she didn't like Southeast."
Stormy Rose: "If anything it excites me. It's good news. I did not have a high regard for her or her politics. It's somewhat of a surprise that she did step down so it makes me want to find out more about it."
Barbara May: "I was shocked. I'd like to know why."
Shirley Campbell: "I'm just really surprised, but I'm happy. I think she was a good governor in the beginning, I really did. I like some of the stuff she did from the get go when she sold the jet and she put the Division of Habitat where it was supposed to be. She did some really good things, but the minute she became a candidate for vice president, things really changed."