By Thomas Madison

All warriors know that a key principle of warfare is surprise. If you can surprise your enemy, then you have caught him off guard, giving you a great advantage.

Predictably unpredictable, Donald Trump signed the RNC loyalty pledge this morning, vowing to support whoever the eventual Republican candidate is, and pledging to not run as a third party candidate.

I admit to being somewhat shocked. The Donald gave away most of his leverage by signing the pledge. The Republicans can now discard him as they please without fear of losing the general election to a Democrat due to a split Republican vote, courtesy of a third party candidate.

Another personal and professional trait of Donald Trump is always being prepared. I am certain that Trump has this maneuver totally calculated. He may believe that his support is so broad that it will be very damaging to the RNC to not run him as its candidate.

I’m guessing that there was an informal assurance from the RNC that should Trump be leading as strongly in the polls at the end of the primary as he is now, then he will be virtually guaranteed the nomination. I can’t imagine any other circumstances under which The Donald would have signed the pledge. My opinion.