After announcing that he and his family would not participate in most of the presidential traditions for the inauguration of a successor, President Donald J. Trump surprised everyone by doing one. He left a letter for Joe Biden.
“In the past, presidents have used the notes to underscore the significance of the job, and the rewards, hardships, and loneliness that sometimes comes with it. Those notes have also generally put aside the partisanship of the election and offered support for a successful presidency,” USA Today reported.
On Wednesday morning, White House spokesman Judd Deere confirmed that Trump had indeed left a note for his successor.
In the past, presidents typically left notes of congratulations, support, and encouragement behind for the new occupant of the Oval Office. However, many wondered if Trump would do the same, considering the tension and animosity in the weeks leading up to the inauguration.
Past presidents’ note to their successors
For example, when President Bush was leaving office, he left a note warning President Barack Obama that there would be “trying moments,” that his critics would “rage,” that his “‘friends’ will disappoint.” Bush also reminded Obama, “You will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me. ”
However, when looking at the note left by Obama to Trump, it seemed that he was offering more of a warning that the 45th president was just passing through and not to break anything, rather than the support and congratulations. His note reads:
“Presidents are just temporary occupants of the West Wing. 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,” Obama wrote. “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.”
Even George H.W. Bush wrote to President Clinton in 1993 stating that although he never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described. “There will be tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair,” he wrote.
He added, “I’m not a very good one to give advice, but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course.” Hillary Clinton posted his letter on Instagram.
Needless to say, it is safe to assume that President Clinton also did not feel the same loneliness that others before him may have felt.
President Clinton’s note for President George W. Bush stated simply, “From this day you are President of all of us. I salute you and wish you success and much happiness.”
The White House did not release the contents of Trump’s letter for Joe Biden. “It’s a letter between 45 and 46,” Deere said. We continue to wait and see which side will share the contents first.
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