Obama’s Letter to Trump on Inauguration Day Stirs Twitter Debate: ‘It’s a Bunch of BS Platitudes’

“All you needed to do was FOLLOW THE LETTER,” reads another tweet

Last Updated: September 3, 2017 @ 12:32 PM

On the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, Barack Obama followed tradition by hand-writing a note to the incoming president on White House stationery, slipping it into an envelope with the words “Mr. President” across it and putting it in the top drawer of the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

CNN obtained a copy of that historical correspondence… and social media had plenty to say about its contents. Obama’s letter was congratulatory, but also reflective and offered insight into the responsibility that comes with the office.

“We are just temporary occupants of this office,” Obama wrote. “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 had received his own letter from his predecssor, George W. Bush, who received one eight years earlier from Bill Clinton. And, before that, George H.W. Bush left one for Clinton that said, “I am rooting hard for you.”

But Obama’s letter to Trump has stirred a debate on Twitter about its contents and the timing of it becoming public.

The Trump haters spoke up:

As did the Obama haters:

And then there were those who were suspicious about the timing of its release:

The letter in full:

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

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