I didn’t watch the entire debate. First, it started relatively late (Eastern time), and not unlike the President, I get up too early in the morning to watch TV much past 9:30PM on a “school night.” Second, the first half-hour was such a deadly-dull repetition of rehearsed talking points, I could barely stay awake just on the merits. From the looks of things, Lileks had a pretty similar reaction.
Two highly superfluous observations, based on what little I saw last night, and what little I’ve read today: Kerry’s flat-wrong accusation that the New York City subways were shut down during the convention might hurt him. He can ask Al Gore or Dan Rather about what stating easily-debunkable claims as fact can do to your reputation. (More substatively, the “Global Test” is going to come back to haunt Kerry–big time–but for now, let’s stick with trivialities.)
On the other hand, the “Treblinka Square” flap is a dry hole for Republicans. It was just a mental burp on Kerry’s part, and a dumb thing to get upset about–particularly given Bush’s own propensity for mixing up names and mangling the mother tongue in general. I wouldn’t vote for Kerry if he handed me the keys to his Ducati, but still, I can’t find it in me to blame him for flubbing a foreign name in front of 55 million people.