Among those opinions is the concept that no Republican can beat Obama; that longtime GOP leaders like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich can't possibly win in this upcoming election's "tea party" environment; and that some new conservative face will be necessary for the Republicans to have even a chance of defeating the president in 2012.
You can take these judgments, lump them with all the other conventional wisdom that's failed to come true over the last year and dump them overboard.
First, remember that as exciting as new blood is in a presidential race, the GOP has almost never won the presidency without a fairly well known commodity as its nominee. Even in 1968 -- arguably the greatest single year of discontent in modern American history -- it was the worn face of Richard Nixon that delivered the presidency to Republicans.
Yes, tea party conservatives are wary of Mitt Romney. But if he catches fire in the primaries, these same tea partiers will eventually hop onto his bandwagon because of the sudden perception that he has what it takes to actually take down Obama in the general election.
As for Gingrich: Yes, his campaign started out with more fumbles than the Carolina Panthers. But if he wins the first debate later this month, his candidacy could easily be resurrected.
There are bright new names that might emerge during the GOP caucuses and primaries, several of which I have written about. Whichever candidate emerges as the Republican nominee -- be it a "new new" personality or the same old thing -- will have a genuine chance of toppling President Obama.
And that, too, goes against conventional wisdom.
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