| WOODBURY, New York
WOODBURY, New York Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said on Thursday her recent hiring of a chief of staff for her political action committee did not signal a decision to run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Speaking to a business group, Palin said in response to a question that she hired strategist Michael Glassner as chief of staff because her husband Todd was tired of handling those duties.
"I am still thinking about it," Palin said of running for president. "I certainly haven't made up my mind," said the 2008 vice presidential nominee.
Palin did take advantage of her appearance before the Long Island Association, a local civic and business group, to criticize the administration of President Barack Obama on the economy, the deficit and government spending.
Obama is putting the nation "on a road to ruin," said Palin, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party political movement.
"Certainly with Medicare, things are going to have to change. Certainly with Social Security, things are going to have to change," she said. "For new enrollments everything is going to have to change ... we're going bankrupt."
It marked a rare appearance for Palin, who has spent very little time in New York, which is heavily Democratic. Palin was accompanied by her daughter Bristol.
Of the Tea Party, Palin said: "I think the Tea Party, thank God, it's here to stay."
Palin also declined to discuss other potential Republicans challengers to Obama in next year's election.
(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Greg McCune)