In what is an American tradition, Barack Obama, former president of the United States, left a letter for the incoming president Donald Trump before he vacated office.
In the letter released by CNN, Obama highlighted what a responsibility the presidency is, saying “Millions have placed their hopes on you.”
He said it is up to Trump to ensure “ladders of success” are built to enable hard working families prosper.
He asked that Trump adhere to the guardians of democracy, like the rule of law and civil liberties, that past leaders had “fought and bled for.”
He also urged that Trump spend time with his family, and that the former first lady Michelle, and himself, wished he and Melania well.
Trump had back in January, upon his assumption of office, called the letter beautiful.
Read the letter below:
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,
Watch Trump’s reaction to the letter below:
Photo Credit: Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Bloomberg