CNN has published the Inauguration Day letter from Obama to incoming President Trump. The letter includes the usual pleasantries then asks Trump to keep the “international order” going. Hummm, that’s a loaded demand because then-candidate Trump’s stump mantra was to put America first. Um, yeah no…
President Obama is facing criticism for his declaration over the weekend that he would seek a new “international order,” with some questioning how much U.S. sovereignty the administration is willing to cede in exchange for more global cooperation.
Trump campaigned on upsetting the apple cart for this new globalism and liberal political hack Fareed Zakaria wrote about the end to this “international order” in a Washington Post OpEd in which he bashed Trump’s America first policy:
In his first days in office, President Trump has begun to reverse the domestic policies of the previous eight years. But with regard to the United States’ relations with the world, Trump seems far more radical. In word and deed, he appears to be walking away from the idea of America at the center of an open, rule-based international order. This would be a reversal of more than 70 years of U.S. foreign policy.
During his final moments in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama folded into thirds a handwritten letter to Donald Trump, slid it into an envelope, and in neat capital letters addressed it to “Mr. President.”
Now, the contents of that letter — the last direct communication between the 44th and 45th presidents — have emerged for the first time after CNN obtained a copy.
Full text of the letter:
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,
You can read other letters from Bush to Obama and Clinton to Bush HERE