George H Bush's dignified letter to Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton (L) and former President George H.W. Bush stand for the National Anthem. Photo / Getty
Former President Bill Clinton (L) and former President George H.W. Bush stand for the National Anthem. Photo / Getty

When a President of the United States steps down from office, he will traditionally leave behind a note for his successor in the Oval Office.

The note penned by George HW Bush to Bill Clinton has gone viral in recent days, after it was shared on social media by Twitter user @CameronJJJ, who described it as "magnanimous, bipartisan & dignified."

The letter is mentioned in a collection of Bush's other writings, All the Best, George Bush. He writes: "I leave a note on the desk for Bill Clinton. It looks a little lonely sitting there. I don't want it to be overly dramatic, but I did want him to know that I would be rooting for him."


In Bill Clinton's autobiography My Life, he writes: "I thought about the note to President Bush I would write and leave behind in the Oval Office, just as his father had done for me eight years earlier.

"I wanted to be gracious and encouraging, as George Bush had been to me. Soon George W. Bush would be President of all the people, and I wished him well.

"I had paid close attention to what Bush and Cheney had said in the campaign. I knew they saw the world very differently from the way I did and would want to undo much of what I had done, especially on economic policy and the environment."

When Ronald Reagan left office he left George HW Bush some stationery bearing the legend: "Don't let the turkeys get you down."

The accompanying note read: "You'll have moments when you want to use this particular stationery. Well, go to it. George, I treasure the memories we share and wish you all the very best. You'll be in my prayers. God bless you and Barbara. I'll miss our Thursday lunches. Ron."

- Telegraph

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