It's tradition for the outgoing president to write a letter to successor for inauguration day. We can only *imagine* what might be in the letter Barack Obama will hand to Donald Trump today, but thanks to the National Archives and Records Administration, we do know what wise words welcomed Obama into office.
ABC News (opens in new tab) got their hands on George W. Bush's letter to Obama.
If the handwriting is a little hard to decipher, the full text of the letter is below:
Jan 20, 2009
Congratulations on becoming our President. You have just begun a fantastic chapter in your life.
Very few have had the honor of knowing the responsibility you now feel. Very few know the excitement of the moment and the challenges you will face.
There will be trying moments. The critics will rage. Your "friends" will disappoint you. But, you will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me. No matter what comes, you will be inspired by the character and compassion of the people you now lead.
God bless you.
And just for good measure, here's the letter Bill Clinton wrote to George W. Bush we he passed the baton back in 2001.
January 20, 2001
Today you embark on the greatest venture, with the greatest honor, that can come to an American citizen.
Like me, you are especially fortunate to lead our country in a time of profound and largely positive change, when old questions, not just about the role of government, but about the very nature of our nation, must be answered anew.
You lead a proud, decent, good people. And from this day you are President of all of us. I salute you and wish you success and much happiness.
The burdens you now shoulder are great but often exaggerated. The sheer joy of doing what you believe is right is inexpressible.
My prayers are with you and your family. Godspeed.
I can only imagine Obama's letter to Trump will either be ten pages long or just one large, tear-stained shrug emoji. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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