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Sarah Palin Addresses Long Island Association Luncheon

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Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin smiles as she is introduced during a public appearance at a Long Island Association (LIA) meeting and luncheon in Woodbury, N.Y., Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin smiles as she is introduced during a public appearance at a Long Island Association (LIA) meeting and luncheon in Woodbury, N.Y., Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

MonaRivera Mona Rivera
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WOODBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Sarah Palin took  her brand of Tea Party Republicanism before a Long Island audience today, telling the paying audience Barack Obama’s budget doesn’t do enough to cut the deficit.

The former Republican vice presidential candidate appeared at a luncheon of the Long Island Association, the region’s largest business group.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera with the question everyone has been waiting to hear Sarah Palin answer


Palin tackled the hot-button issue on every political observer’s mind: whether or not she’ll seek the presidency in 2012. She told the audience of 1,000 businees and civic leaders “I am still thinking about it,” but added she has not made up her mind yet.

Palin received a warm reception from the pro-business crowd. “I think she did an excellent job, very clear, you understand what she’s all about,” one man said.

Palin agreed to answer questions posed by the president of the organization for about an hour with cameras rolling, LIA President Kevin Law said.

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“The sad part about today is one hour won’t be enough,” Law said before the event began.

“Long Island really is more of a microcosm of the rest of the country… and it could go either way, so I think it’ll be a good testing ground for her,” Law said.

Palin usually avoids answering questions from the media, preferring instead to appear on Fox News Channel or to communicate via Twitter and Facebook.

The Long Island Association has previously welcomed former presidents and other national leaders to speak at its meetings, but the meetings are usually closed to the media at the request of the speaker, Law said. Palin, however, who has been criticized for limiting access to her by the mainstream media, has agreed to allow cameras and reporters record the conversation.

Law won’t say how much Palin is getting paid, but newsmakers of her stature have been known to cash six-figure checks for such appearances. A spokeswoman for the Washington Speakers Bureau, which is representing Palin for the speech, did not return a telephone call or e-mail seeking comment.

A rough idea of the money involved though can be gleaned from  the cost of a ticket. For members, it’s $300 per individual, $3,600 per table. For non-members, it’s $400 per individual, $4,800 per table.

The event is sponsored by the New York Health Insurance Exchange, Motorola, National Grid, HSBC and Purolator.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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