Letters From Bill Clinton To George W. Bush And Bush To Barack Obama Made Public For First Time

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Maybe we're just caught up in this whole Presidential Inauguration thing today—and, let's be real, who isn't?—but we've come across some very cool things this morning that have us proud to be Americans.

One of those things are the handwritten letters from former Presidents Bill Clinton to his successor George W. Bush, and then Bush's to Barack Obama when he first took office in January, 2009—which were just made public for the first time.

Here's Clinton's to Bush

In the letter, Clinton reminds Bush that, although the burdens are great, they are "often exaggerated," following that by saying Dubya should have joy in what he believes is right.

Dear George, Today you embark on the greatest venture, with the greatest honor, that can come to an American citizen. Like me, you are especially fortunate to lead our country in a time of profound and largely positive change, when old questions, not just about the role of government, but about the very nature of our nation, must be answered anew. You lead a proud, decent, good people. 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. My prayers are with you and your family. Godspeed. Sincerely, Bill

Here's Bush's to Obama

In George W.'s letter to Barack Obama, Bush mentions the excitement that becoming President brings, reassuring hope that, no matter what happens, Obama will "be inspired by the character and compassion of the people you now lead."

Dear Barack, Congratulations on becoming our President. You have just begun a fantastic chapter in your life. Very few have had the honor of knowing the responsibility you now feel. Very few know the excitement of the moment and the challenges you will face. 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. No matter what comes, you will be inspired by the character and compassion of the people you now lead. God bless you. Sincerely, GW

The letters, which came from National Archives and Records Administration, show just how deep the tradition of taking office is, with the predecessor wishing his successor good luck, good fortune and support—regardless of political views.

It will be interesting to see what words Donald Trump has waiting for him in the oval office from outgoing President Barack Obama—which, one day, we'll be able to read.


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