Gov. Sean Parnell decisively won his own term as governor of Alaska last week, and this week he did the expected, accepting resignations from key commissioners as he sets about naming his own Cabinet.
Parnell didn't make waves when he succeeded Sarah Palin as governor in July 2009. He was the anti-wave, and for many Alaskans a welcome relief after the high drama of Palin's last 11 months in office.
But Parnell took some heat for being too bland in some people's eyes, low-key to the point of uninspiring. The "Captain Zero" moniker that Don Young hung on him during the 2008 congressional primary had echoes. "Palin lite" was another jibe.
Still, his 2-to-1 romp in the election fits the definition of landslide. So Alaskans have given him the keys to more than the Governor's Mansion. He takes a strong -- but not open-ended -- vote of confidence into his four-year term.
Challenges ahead could be severe. Oil flow in the pipeline continues to diminish. Despite bidders in two open seasons, an Alaska gas line is no sure bet. So far Parnell has stood by the fundamental elements of ACES, the oil tax regime, and AGIA, the state's gas line program, preferring amendments to overhaul.
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