Obama Left A Beautiful Letter For Trump On Inauguration Day — Trump Called It Long And Complex

By on September 4, 2017

As outgoing presidents often do, former President Barack Obama left a letter for incoming President Donald Trump to read on his Inauguration Day back in January.

Obama’s letter included four pieces of advice for the new president. His first piece of advice? Recognize that presidents have been blessed — and remember that not every American is so fortunate.

“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,” Obama wrote.

Second, Obama asked Trump to continue pushing the United States as a country that creates strong leadership for the world to follow. “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,” Obama said.

Third, Obama implored Trump to guard against encroachments that threaten democracy. Even though politics sometimes gets in the way of doing business, “it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them,” Obama said.

Finally, Obama told Trump to “take time…for friends and family.” These people are there for the president to lean on, Obama explained, especially in times of trouble.

Obama’s letter, which CNN explained was longer than his two predecessors by at least double, nevertheless explains the unique position he, Trump, and other presidents have been in as occupants of the Oval Office. Trump, although grateful for Obama’s words, apparently found them difficult to pay any attention toward.

“It was long. It was complex,” Trump said in an interview with ABC News earlier this year. He also explained that he knew it took time to write. “It was thoughtful,” he added.

Trump has indicated in the past that he doesn’t have a large attention span. Many of his staffers are rumored to call him the “two minute man” due to his inability to listen to any briefing from his administration officials that lasts more than two minutes.

Read the full 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,

BO