What Clinton, Bush Told Their Successors Released

Both men had plenty of encouraging words in letters left behind
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2017 4:18 AM CST
Clinton, Bush Letters to Successors Released
George W. Bush's letter to President Obama.   (National Archives)

It may be many years before the contents of the letter President Obama will leave in the White House for Donald Trump Friday morning are known to the public, but the notes from the two previous presidents to their successors can now be seen for the first time. In letters from the National Archives and Records Administration obtained by ABC News, both men offer encouraging words and speak of the joys of being president as well as the burdens. "There will be trying moments. The critics will rage. Your 'friends' will disappoint you," Bush wrote to Obama in a letter dated Jan. 20, 2009. "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. No matter what comes, you will be inspired by the character and compassion of the people you now lead."

"You lead a proud, decent, good people," Bill Clinton wrote to Bush in his Jan. 20, 2001, letter. "And from this day you are President of all of us. I salute you and wish you success and much happiness. The burdens you now shoulder are great but often exaggerated. The sheer joy of doing what you believe is right is inexpressible." The letters, which were released with the permission of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, are part of a long tradition of letters of encouragement, including Ronald Reagan's note to George HW Bush stating, "Don't let the turkeys get you down," the Guardian reports. (George HW Bush's gracious letter to Bill Clinton went viral last year as the presidential election entered its brutal final weeks.)

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