If you caught the Republican debate last night, it was quite a spectacle.

Last night was Rick Perry's first debate appearance, and boy, did he make an appearance.  He came in with many of the candidates taking jabs at him, (Perry himself said he felt "a bit like a pinata," during the debates) and walked away one of the front runners. His straight-shooting, bluntly honest style may turn off some, but I for one really enjoy it and think its about time we got somebody in office who'll tell it like it is. I particularly enjoyed how he defended Texas's controversial and often criticized death penalty.

Another star of the debate last night was Mitt Romney. He came to the debate ready and raring to go, and it seemed like Perry was a favorite target of the night. From jobs records, to social security, to Perry's "Fed Up!" book, Romney wasn't pulling any punches last night. After last night, I really think the race is going to come down to these two men.

While it looks like Perry and Romney are gaining steam, the other candidates are starting to fizzle out. Michele Bachmann, who did really well after the last debate, is starting to fade into the background. Newt Gingrich still would rather attack the media than his fellow candidates. (which actually isn't such a bad idea.) And everyone else, well...I think it's pretty much curtains for the other candidates. (Except of course for Ron Paul, if simply for the fact that the Ron Paul-istas won't let his campaign die.)

To get the full recap and more on what went on last night, check out politico.com. One thing's for sure: this Republican race is going to be one of the most important we've had in a while, and it's looking like one heckuva ride...