Michele Bachmann vs. Sarah Palin: Showdown in Iowa?

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If Sarah Palin is trying to stay in the spotlight, it's working.

She drew the top headline in New Hampshire the day Mitt Romney announced he's running for president.

She stole the limelight the day John Huntsman announced by showing up at a photo opportunity at a motorcycle rally in a leather jacket. And, now she's casting a tall shadow over Tea Party rival Michele Bachmann.

On Monday, Michele Bachmann returns to her birthplace, Waterloo, Iowa to begin her campaign for president. It was probably one of this year's worst kept secrets of the 2012 race.

The Minnesota Republican seized the opportunity to announce her candidacy at a June Republican debate. "I filed today my paperwork to seek the office of the presidency of the United States," she said.

Meanwhile, former Alaskan Republican governor Sarah Palin will be vying for the spotlight a hundred miles away in Pella, Iowa to attend the Tuesday debut of, "The Undefeated," a documentary about her life and career.

Earlier this month "Undefeated" filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon told ABC News that people have come to expect Palin's participation in the race for the presidency, even if she doesn't officially run -- bad or good, she draws attention.

"If she's not in, the spirit of her will be in this race," he said. "There's something brewing that she represents, and if she is not a candidate per se, the spirit of Governor Palin will definitely be there," added Bannon.

From her run in 2008 for the Vice Presidential candidacy and interviews with Palin supporters, the documentary -- intended to be an inside look at her career, is being called by some as a feature-length campaign and a move that violates basic political etiquette.

"Usually there is this unwritten rule: You don't step on somebody else's announcement. She doesn't seem to care," ABC contributor and former chief strategist for the 2004 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign Matthew Dowd said.

On the surface, Palin and Bachmann appear to be allies.

Both women are closely identified with Tea Party conservatives and evangelist.

Palin has rolled into celebrity status and Bachmann appears each day to be gaining in popularity.

A new Iowa Des Moines Register Poll released today, places Bachmann only a short distance behind republican front-runner Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Romney, a familiar face in Iowa holds 23 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers and Bachmann garnering 22 percent of the votes.

Earlier this year, in a tea party express speech, Palin professed a level of support for Tea Party twin, "In the House we need to return Michele Bachmann," she said.

However, the women who may have once been viewed as allies are also rivals.

Palin and Bachmann increasingly find themselves splitting support from the Tea Party and some political analysts say it's Bachmann who's being taken seriously as a candidate.

"I don't think there's room in the race for both of them, and right now Michele Bachmann seems to be acting more like a candidate and Sarah Palin seems to be acting more like a celebrity," said Dowd.

Voters witnessed hints of this at the recent GOP presidential debate. Afterwards media and political pundits believed it was Bachmann who offered the commanding performance.

"Our country needs a leader who understands the hardships that people across America have been facing over the past few years, and who will do what it takes to renew the American dream," Bachmann said. "We must become a strong and proud America again, and I see clearly a better path to a brighter future."

And, of the two women, Bachmann has a political title -- congresswoman, not to mention deep pockets.

She raised a staggering $13.5 million for the 2010 House race, an amount that was more than any other House member.

Palin, despite taking steps to declare a presidential bid has a campaign-style tour bus, however, no official title.

And, then there's "Sarah Palin's Alaska," a reality show on TLC intended to highlight the beauty of her home and her "Mama Bear" role.

However, if she keeps stealing the spotlight from fellow Republicans, it may be Palin who's taking fire.

Political odds makers are betting against Palin getting in the race, but if she does, her support will almost certainly come at the expense of Bachmann, her Tea Party rival.