WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — As recently as a decade ago, just the suggestion of a legitimate female candidate for the White House would be nothing short of historic.

But now, the Republican party is debating whether there is room enough for two of them.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination, says she thinks the race can accommodate both her and Sarah Palin.

Both women are favorites of the tea party movement. But Bachmann says she doesn’t compare herself to Palin she compares herself to President Barack Obama.

While Palin hasn’t officially declared her candidacy, she continues to send mixed signals about her political plans for 2012.

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Reid Wilson, editor in chief of The Hotline from the National Journal, told KNX 1070 may actually be ducking the media during a recent trip to Washington, D.C.

“She visited the Mall, she visited Mount Vernon, she visited Fort McHenry up in Baltimore, and Gettysburg yesterday, but she doesn’t seem to want this media attention,” said Wilson.

Bachmann, meanwhile, insists there’s “enough room for a lot of contenders” to challenge Obama.

The Minnesota Republican says she considers Palin, the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential candidate, a “friend,” not a
“competitor.” But she told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday that she has no problem running against a friend.

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Bachmann spoke to ABC from New Hampshire, which holds the GOP’s first presidential primary next year. She is expected to announce her campaign decision in Iowa next month.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)