A Pledge for Republican Togetherness Is Framed on Trump’s Terms
Maggie Haberman 9/3/2015

First Draft

Donald J. Trump made a campaign stop at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., last month. Mary Schwalm/Associated Press


Good Thursday morning. While President Obama celebrates the success of his strategy to secure enough votes to put the Iran nuclear agreement in place, the head of the Republican National Committee was seemingly engaging in some strategy of his own, calling for all 17 candidates to make a promise meant to ease concerns about one candidate’s intentions.

At 2 p.m. Thursday, the Trump show will resume its regularly scheduled programming, with a special guest star, Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

According to Donald J. Trump’s official schedule, he is holding a news conference at that time. The advisory makes no mention of Mr. Priebus, but a spokesman for Mr. Trump confirmed that a meeting between them is scheduled for Thursday.

All of this togetherness, on Mr. Trump’s terms, at his office tower, with his name on the front in gold, comes after Mr. Priebus abruptly asked all 17 presidential candidates in the Republican nominating contest to sign a loyalty pledge against running as a third-party candidate.

The pledge seems to be aimed directly at Mr. Trump, since no other candidate has left open, at least in previous comments, the possibility of such a run. And that threat, by a rich candidate, has sent a jolt of fear through the Republican establishment over splitting votes and potentially tipping the election to Democrats. Mr. Priebus has been under enormous pressure to try to rein in Mr. Trump.

But reining him in is more easy in theory than in fact. And the fact that whatever announcement will take place on Thursday is being done on Mr. Trump’s turf merely emphasizes how much he is dictating the terms of the primary.