You may recall back in late January, as President Trump was sworn into office, there were reports of a letter that President Obama had written to the new President. Trump described the letter to the media as ‘beautiful’ but wouldn’t tell us what it actually said. While we all knew that Barack Obama had a way with words, most of us assumed that we’d never get to see the contents of the letter, at least not for several years.
Here we are, less than 8 months into Trump’s presidency, and CNN has obtained the contents of that letter. This is believed to have been the last direct communication that the two leaders have had. Below are the words written by President Barack Obama, as he handed off power to the new President, Donald J. Trump:
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,
Let’s hear your thoughts on this beautifully written letter between two presidents in the comments section below.