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Posted: December 01, 2018

'I am rooting hard for you:' read George H.W. Bush's 1993 letter to Bill Clinton

Former United States Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton pictured in 2005.
Hunter Martin/Getty Images
Former United States Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton pictured in 2005.

By Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

WASHINGTON —

A letter written by former President George H.W. Bush to then-incoming President Bill Clinton is making the rounds after Bush’s death.

Written in 1993, the letter is part of the tradition of outgoing presidents leaving notes to incoming ones.

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BuzzFeed News reported that the letter was first circulated in September 2017, but then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton shared the letter as it went viral in June 2016.

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You may have noticed a letter that went viral on the internet this week. The letter is from George H.W. Bush’s presidential library. I hadn’t read it in a long time, until yesterday. It moved me to tears, just like it did all those years ago. It’s the letter that President Bush left in the Oval Office for my husband, back in January of 1993. They had just fought a fierce campaign. Bill won, President Bush lost. In a democracy, that’s how it goes. But when Bill walked into that office for the very first time as President, that note was waiting for him. It had some good advice about staying focused on what mattered, despite the critics. It wished him happiness. And it concluded with these words: “You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well. Your success is now our country’s success. And I am rooting hard for you. George.” That’s the America we love. That is what we cherish and expect.

A post shared by Hillary Clinton (@hillaryclinton) on

The letter can be read in full below:

“Dear Bill, When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that too.

“I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some presidents have described.

“There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course.

“You will be our president when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well.

“Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.

“Good luck -- 

George”


 
 

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