Politics & Government

Palin wraps up term with bears, bills, travel and tweets

Gov. Sarah Palin has spent much of her time traveling statewide since announcing on July 3 her plan to resign from office. Palin fished a day with her family in Bristol Bay, visited the McNeil River bear sanctuary and signed bills in Kotzebue, McGrath and Unalakleet in between stops in Homer, Juneau, Fairbanks and, briefly, Anchorage. Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow on Friday said it's not a farewell tour, nor is it the "lame duck" junketing Palin decried in her resignation announcement. The events were planned before Palin decided to step down effective July 26, Leighow said.

Palin will be leaving with a year and a half remaining in her four-year term.

"Gov. Palin is still the governor of Alaska. Signing legislation is what a governor does. Public bill signings are one way of connecting people to the laws that affect them," Leighow said. Palin has spoken to local people and conducted some media interviews in recent days but has most consistently communicated with the outside world through the Internet social media Twitter. Interest in her "tweets" has exploded since she announced her plan to resign. Now more than 100,000 people have signed up to follow messages like the one about "mama bears" she sent after her visit to the McNeil River bear sanctuary.

"Protect & provide for her young; She sees danger? She brazenly rises up on strong hind legs, growls Don't Touch My Cubs & the species survives," it said.

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