Under the right conditions, the GOP could end up in 2011 with female governors in the two largest states in the nation—California and Texas. Or with a black senator from Texas, an Hispanic female governor in New Mexico, a Colorado governor in his early 30s and two Indian American governors in the Deep South—one of them female.

Some Republicans see the pipeline of diverse 2010 candidates as an unprecedented opportunity for the party to shake up its white-guy image, nothing less than a godsend after the historic election of a Democratic African American presidential candidate…

Just being a new face, Penry cautioned, isn’t enough to win over voters on Election Day.

“Every event we go to, the event organizer tells us it’s the biggest event they’ve had, but I have to close the deal,” Penry said. “I think Sarah Palin created tremendous enthusiasm because she was new and didn’t necessarily close the deal with a lot of people.”