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It’s become increasingly unclear whether the Republican presidential primary has enough space for not one, but two female folk heroes of the Tea Party: Rep. Michele Bachmann’s prospective 2012 campaign appears increasingly set on a collision course with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The coming confrontation is being driven by a belief in Bachmann’s camp that the same grassroots, conservative primary voters and caucus-goers may have to choose between the two women—and that they will choose Bachmann if she presents herself as a more seasoned, reliable, and serious conservative than her high-profile rival. The apparent effort to draw distinctions broke into the open Tuesday when her new top strategist, Ed Rollins, dismissed Palin as “not serious” in a radio interview. Palin hasn’t announced that she’s running–and she may ultimately stick to an unpredictable mix of motorcycle tours across the country and Fox News appearances–but she’s such a big celebrity that she could still overshadow Bachmann, the former anti-abortion activist who rose to national fame in 2008 when she claimed that Democratic members of Congress were “un-American.” [POLITICO]

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