Has Michele Bachmann Eclipsed Sarah Palin?

It seems the Tea Party, mama-bear space isn't big enough for the two of them.

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There are many parallels between Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann—and not simply because they are the GOP’s only serious female 2012 prospects. The two fill the same Tea Party, mama-bear space, and they both love to creatively interpret history. But, as pundits speculate whether the two are friends or foes, it seems that space isn’t big enough for the two of them.

U.S. News’s Whispers column (“ Bachmann: The Smart Version of Palin”) pits the two against each other in education (Bachmann wins), family (Bachmann), politics (Palin), fundraising (Bachmann), and other areas. “So how is the nation supposed to choose between Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann if they both get into the presidential race?” Whispers asks. “In a word: smarts. If we had to make a pick based on school smarts and book smarts, Bachmann would win. Because when it comes to picking presidents, the nation has a history of going for the brainy candidates.” [Check out political cartoons about the 2012 GOP field.]

And when it comes to lame-stream media attention, Bachmann has a habit of absorbing the spotlight when Palin fades. When Palin laid low after what many called her narcissistic response to the tragic shooting at Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Gifford’s “ Congress on Your Corner” event in January, Bachmann entered center stage with her Tea Party response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech. After the media din subsided from Palin’s to-campaign-or-not-to-campaign New England bus tour, Bachmann came on strong and articulate in Monday's GOP debate and had the media cycle saying, Sarah who? [See a slide show of GOP 2012 contenders.]

What do you think? Has Michele Bachmann eclipsed Sarah Palin? Take the poll and post your thoughts below.

This poll is now closed, but the debate continues in the comments section.

Previously: Who won Monday night's GOP 2012 debate?