What to do with advice from your predecessor when he’s the president? Flaunt it, not follow it—if you’re President Trump.
President Barack Obama provided advice to President Trump on his inauguration day in a final direct communication—a hand-written letter. The letter addressed “Dear Mr. President,” offers congratulations to Donald Trump on his run for office. Obama then attempts to impress on Trump the weight of his new role.
Obama reminds Trump that they are both blessed with “good fortune,” but that not everyone can make the same claim. He advises that it’s the president’s job to “build more ladders of success” for everyone ready to work hard.
The 44th president’s second piece of advice turns to international relations as he reminds his successor of the “indispensable” nature of America’s worldwide role of leadership. Post-Cold-War “international order” that supports the “wealth and safety” of America and Americans must be sustained.
Barack’s third piece of advice for Trump’s presidency is a reminder that the president is a guardian, who must ensure that “rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties” are not only intact but as strong—or stronger—after his term.
The fourth piece of advice is to take time for friends and family.
President Obama closes his letter with a wish for the “very best as you embark on this great adventure” and an offer to help.
During an ABC News interview, Trump commented that he appreciated the letter, which fulfilled an Oval Office tradition. CNN reports that Trump is often eager to show the letter to visitors. While Trump reportedly left a message thanking Obama for the letter, the two men haven’t spoken directly since Trump’s inauguration.
It seems the letter is the only thing Trump reveres about Obama; with frequent criticism of Obama’s presidency and policies, Trump tried to repeal significant strides made during the 44th’s 8-year run.
Image Source: By Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons