I'll admit

it...I am obsessed. These debates are addictive and last night was truly a shot

to the arm. I also admit I am a news junkie, but you don't have to be one to

know that when President Obama and Gov. Romney met at Hofstra, the gloves were

off.

It happened

in minutes. So fast I barely had time to get the pillows right on the living

room couch. I heard gas prices, "I asked you a question," and before I

knew it they were up. Standing. Head-to-head. Toe-to-toe. Knowing what

toothpaste the other uses. THAT kind of close. For a second, I thought,

"Are they actually going to brawl right now?" No, not verbally, but at that

moment a football-style tackle was not out of the question. Okay, so that's

excessive, but there is no doubt the second question set a sharp tone for the

evening.

Let's put

aside who "won." Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I find it hard to

believe-no matter how strongly you feel for a candidate- there wasn't something

they could have done differently, better or not at all. Instead, let's focus on

what this means going forward.

First, the

President is back. After his lackluster showing in Kentucky, he came ready to

play. He had to, he did and like we said in our Big Story today, it moved us

from a race to a downright fight.

But we also

learned Romney is up to the challenge. The governor we knew pre-debate season

has surprised us twice now. He looks the President square in the eye, he is

assertive, he throws his punches and he takes them in return. He is not

backing down and from his "licking my wounds from my loss to John McCain"

reference, we know he wants it.

And there is

still time. We have another debate, almost three more weeks of campaigning and

a huge percentage of undecided voters still waiting for their "ah ha"

moment. You see, no matter who "won," this race is far from over. In fact

for many it has just begun. That is the beauty of the town-hall style. It lets

the voters, you know, the people who REALLY matter in this election, ask the

questions on the issues hitting them the hardest. Forget a moderator, forget

the time limits, let the people give them a piece of their mind and let the

candidates answer to their face. We deserve that much.

Now don't get me

wrong. Town-hall style or not, I will be glued to my TV Monday but last night,

was that chance for Americans and it did not disappoint.