(Washington Post) -- THE BIG IDEA: Immigration is a losing issue for Donald Trump, and he’s just spent two weeks talking about it almost every day. After telegraphing repeatedly that he would embrace a more politically palatable position, the Republican nominee used a much-ballyhooed speech in Phoenix last night to make clear that there will be no softening whatsoever. In some key ways, he even hardened his position.
Republicans facing four more years in the wilderness will long recall the raucous rally in Phoenix as a low point of the Trump campaign, perhaps even as the moment that he definitively extinguished his hopes of becoming president.
That feeling will be particularly pronounced because it came at the end of a whirlwind day that might otherwise have been remembered as a triumph.
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Many political professionals from both parties privately believed Trump’s trip to Mexico to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto was a master stroke, an audacious move that made Trump look serious and presidential on a global stage. Rightly or wrongly, even some critics believed that the billionaire projected pragmatism and showed that he could be effective at cutting deals.