The Inauguration Day Letter Obama Wrote for Trump Is Now Public

It’s an American custom for an exiting president to leave behind a letter for his successor. Although President Donald Trump has previously acknowledged former President Barack Obama for leaving a message for him on Inauguration Day, the contents of the letter were initially unknown. Now, Obama’s letter has gone public after CNN obtained a copy of his words to Trump. Fair warning: if you were missing Obama before, reading this letter will probably make those feelings worse.

Obama left the new president with four noteworthy pieces of advice, beginning with a reminder that both men have been very fortunate in their lives and basically need to pay it forward. He wrote. "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 then emphasized how lucky both men are to be American citizens and contribute to the country, albeit temporarily. "American leadership in this world really is indispensable," Obama remarked. "It's up 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," the message continued. "Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it's up for us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them."

Obama's last tidbit of wisdom is a great reminder of why he and his family often felt so relatable even while in the White House. "Take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities for friends and family," he advised Trump. "They'll get you through the inevitable rough patches."

CNN reports that Trump tried to get in contact with Obama on Inauguration Day after reading the letter, but the outgoing president was already traveling to California and couldn't be reached. A member of Obama's team eventually returned the call, but a Trump staffer simply said the president only wanted to say thank you for his message. Since the missed connection, the two men haven't spoken to or seen each other. However, Obama hasn't held back from commenting on the Trump administration, releasing a full statement about the Senate's new health care bill earlier this year. 

Obama's letter is longer than that of past presidents and, compared to letters from Bill Clinton and the Bushes, has more specific advice. If there's anything his letter proves, it's that Obama is just as classy as people have perceived him to be. Let's hope President Trump will give the letter a reread sometime soon.