Last night every single pundit, analyst and intellectual was captured by the debate on the debate. Me? I had to report to our neighbor country:
Barbs fly at Mexico's first presidential debate
EX-MAYOR OF MEXICO CITY, THE FRONT-RUNNER IN JULY RACE, SKIPS TELEVISED EVENT
By Edwin Garcia
Knight Ridder Mexico Bureau
MEXICO CITY - The first presidential debate leading to this summer's election featured harsh criticism Tuesday among the candidates -- and an occasional reference to the man who was supposed to occupy one of the podiums on the stage.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the left-of-center former Mexico City mayor who mobilized millions of followers and long-ago gained front-runner status heading toward the July 2 vote, skipped the nationally televised debate.
"It's not common in presidential elections that a candidate decides not to go to a debate,'' said political scientist Francisco Javier Aparicio of the Center for Economics, Research and Education in Mexico City. "I don't know why he believes it was better not to go.''
But the two-hour debate at Mexico's World Trade Center nonetheless included frequent clashes between ruling National Action Party candidate Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, running second in most polls, and third-place candidate Roberto Madrazo, whose Institutional Revolutionary Party saw its 71-year grip on power end with the election of President Vicente Fox six years ago.