All three of these folks [current top GOP contenders Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee] reinforce the negative perceptions that much of the country holds about the Republican Party. The GOP needs a fresh face that challenges people's assumptions about who Republicans are and is visibly not just going to be George W. Bush under another name. I don't know who that person is, but he/she needs to emerge if the party is going to win back the White House in 2012.
Some conservative talking head the other day -- maybe it was Pat Buchanan -- uttered the name Bob McDonnell in reference to the above perception that something is dreadfully outta focus (rather than mavericky) about the current Republican field of presidential contenders. Which we think kinda proves Jensen's point, if you're turning to the man who just won a Southern governorship but hasn't even been sworn in yet.
McDonnell = a fresh face, yes. But "challenges people's assumptions"? Not so much.