Because you may have been watching another face-off.

But don't worry, I watched the debate for you.

Think of it as spring training for the campaign season, when it's hard to even remember the names of the players.

There were seven in New Hampshire:

former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney…

former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty…

former House Speaker Newt Gingrich…

former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum…

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann…

Texas Congressman Ron Paul…

and Georgia businessman Herman Cain.

With Mitt Romney the frontrunner, the goal of other major candidates was to knock him down.

"I just cited President Obama's own words that he looked to Massachusetts as a blueprint or a guide when he designed Obamacare," Pawlenty said.

Romney largely ignored his Republican rivals to focus on Democrat Barack Obama.

"He didn't create the recession, he made it worse and longer.  We have more chronic long term unemployment than this country has ever seen before…This president has failed," Romney said.

But Romney didn't fail…and that's why he won this debate.  He escaped untouched and was, yes, presidential.

Another winner was the Republican Party, which finally got its presidential campaign rolling

The closest thing to real news in this debate:  a new candidate:

"I filed today my paperwork to seek the office of the Presidency of the United States, Congresswoman Bachman said.

Before long, the battle for the Stanley Cup will be a memory, and the battle for the White House will be the biggest game in town.

I know that seems impossible to believe right now.

I'm Andy Hiller, and that's my instinct.

(Copyright (c) 2011 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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