by WorldTribune Staff, September 4, 2017
In what would be the last direct communication between the 44th and 45th presidents, Barack Obama left a 275-word hand-written letter to Donald Trump in the top drawer of the Resolute Desk.
CNN said it obtained a copy of the letter, written on White House stationery, from someone Trump showed it to.
The letter in full:
Dear Mr. President –
Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.
This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don’t know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful. Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.
First, we’ve both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune. Not everyone is so lucky. It’s up to us to do everything we can (to) build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard.
Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.
Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions – like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties – that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.
And finally, take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They’ll get you through the inevitable rough patches.
Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.
Good luck and Godspeed,
Obama’s letter to Trump continued a long tradition set by past presidents.
George W. Bush said in his letter to Obama: “There will be trying moments. The critics will rage. Your ‘friends’ will disappoint you. But, you will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me.”
Eight years earlier, Bill Clinton wrote to Bush: “The burdens you now shoulder are great but often exaggerated. The sheer joy of doing what you believe is right is inexpressible.”
In 1992, George H.W. Bush wrote Clinton that “your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you. Good luck.”
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