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Mexico's presidential candidates held their first debate Sunday night and used much of their time to attack each other rather than answer the questions at hand. One main reason for this is that generally, negative campaign advertising is not allowed under the new rules of the game: This was the candidates' best opportunity to get in some blows.
The big loser of the night was education, which the candidates have generally emphasized in their campaigns. However, much of the time slot devoted to education got devoted to attacks and defenses against attacks dealing with other issues. National Action Party candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota at least backtracked in the next segment to talk about her education proposals, but at the expense of the time devoted to sustainable development.
Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate Enrique Peña Nieto and New Alliance Party candidate Gabriel Quadri far exceeded expectations. Quadri mainly focused on the questions at hand with well-thought answers, although it got tiresome to keep hearing him talk about how he was answering the questions while the other candidates were making attacks. Democratic Revolution Party candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador looked tired and largely focused on attacking what he called failed policies of the 1980s and 1990s instead of propounding sustainable proposals for the country's future.
Update, May 8: Reaction to debate.