Donald Trump undoes his third and best debate performance in just a few words - LA Times

In the last moments that the candidates had on stage together in this campaign, Wallace threw in a surprise, asking each to make a final pitch to Americans. It was that moment that illustrated a key difference between the two: Clinton, disciplined, went after the voters she needed, of all stripes, ending with an assertion of her strengths over her flaws.

“I’m reaching out to all Americans — Democrats, Republicans and independents — because we need everybody to help make our country what it should be, to grow the economy, to make it fairer, to make it work for everyone,” she said, “We need your talents, your skills, your commitments, your energy, your ambition.”

Trump, however, could not seem to get beyond his anger at Clinton and at his standing in the campaign.

He portrayed an America depleted and disgusted, and focused on Clinton: “All she’s done is talk,” he said of her appeals to African Americans and Latinos — among the groups he’s angered.

He closed not with an assertion of the importance of electing him, but of his disdain for the woman across the stage and for the increasingly popular president she hopes to succeed.

“We cannot take four more years of Barack Obama,” he said, “and that’s what you get when you get her.”


Trump's Refusal to Accept the Election Results will Hurt Him - The Atlantic

At times during tonight’s debate, Donald Trump seemed controlled, succinct, even prepared.

It didn’t matter. In an instant, he lost the debate and blew his chance of using it to turn around his sinking campaign.

That instant came when Trump refused to say he would respect the outcome of next month’s vote.

Barring some massive unforeseen news, that comment will dominate political conversation in the coming days. By next week, it will be all anyone remembers about tonight. And for good reason. A major party nominee suggesting he won’t concede defeat in a presidential election he has clearly lost was, until Trump came along, unthinkable. Had Al Gore taken that position in 2000, the United States might not be a functioning democracy today. If Trump’s position becomes the new normal--if future candidates refuse to respect the voters’ will--America may not remain one. Democracies require public legitimacy for their survival. When powerful actors withhold that legitimacy, the system crumbles.