Move over, Sarah Palin. Another prominent, Tea Party–backed female conservative is taking her turn in the spotlight. Ever since Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) intimated last month that she might run for president in 2012, talk of Palin's own ambitions have quieted to a low murmur. But were the former Alaska governor to throw her hat into the ring, she would undoubtedly be competing for the same voters as Bachmann — small-government conservatives able to overlook each candidates' propensity for gaffes. Given the similarities in their political outlook and followings, should we consider Bachmann and Palin allies... or rivals?

Rivals... and Bachmann would win: This pair might seem like "GOP doppelgangers," says Suzy Khimm at Mother Jones, but Bachmann definitely has the edge on Palin. The Minnesota conservative is a born organizer, with a thick skin and the ability to think on her feet. She'd certainly be "the more credible candidate of the two."
"Bachmann vs Palin: Who's the better 2012 candidate?"

Allies... and Palin may endorse Bachmann: Bachmann is likely to "supplant Palin in next year's presidential contest," say Shane D'Aprile and Jordan Fabian at The Hill. But the Alaskan still has the power to shape "opinion within the conservative movement." She'll probably become a kingmaker — "and perhaps no rumored candidate starts in a better spot to snag [her] backing than Bachmann."
"Bachmann begins to overshadow Palin as more likely White House contender"

Either way, the media will keep speculating: Neither Bachmann nor Palin has confirmed any 2012 plans yet, says Andrew Belonsky at Death and Taxes, but that hasn't stopped the media from salivating over the prospect of a "cat-fight."  Sadly, our "pop and political cultures sensationalize such rivalries," and diminish the realities of the situation as a result. Let's hope the pair — reportedly good friends — can overcome it.
"The possible 'Bachmann versus Palin' narrative"