Today at 12pm noon, eastern time, we will have our 45th president of the United States of America.
The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our country’s achievements.
In the handwritten note, Bush wished Bill Clinton “great happiness” as he assumed power and even offered some words of wisdom based on his own experience in the White House.
“There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair,” he wrote. “I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course.”
Underlining the fact that Clinton will be “our president,” he wrote, “your success is now our country’s success.”
“I am rooting hard for you,” said Bush as a final note.
Class (his WH staffers, not so much):
“Dear George,” Clinton begins. “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,” he continues. “And from this day you are President of all of us. I salute you and wish you success and much happiness.”
Clinton adds: “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.”
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.”
President Bush went above and beyond in insuring that his staffers made the transition of power a smooth one, for his successor.
President Obama, himself, is demonstrating some of this same kind of class in welcoming his successor into the Oval Office.
“It is not secret that the president-elect and I have some pretty significant differences,” Obama said in remarks at the White House on Wednesday. “But remember, eight years ago, President Bush and I had some pretty significant differences.”
The president said he would instruct his team to follow the example set by President George W. Bush’s team as they transitioned out of power, starting with meeting with Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
“We are now all rooting for success in uniting and leading the country. The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy,” he added.
In their open letter to Sasha and Malia Obama, Jenna and Barbara Bush remind us what graciousness looks like in practice. Their sweet remembrances of times past as children in the White House give us a glimpse into a world that few know. They encourage Sasha and Malia to use their experiences in the White House to shape their future plans as they begin to step out of their parents’ shadows and forge their own paths, while reminding the rest of us that we have watched the Obama sisters “grow from girls to impressive young women with grace and ease.”
Most importantly, Jenna and Barbara acknowledge how hard the spotlight can be for children of the president. They acknowledged that the transition is an emotional one as the Obama family moves out of the White House to begin what is next. Their words are recognition for a job well done:
You have lived through the unbelievable pressure of the White House. You have listened to harsh criticism of your parents by people who had never even met them. You stood by as your precious parents were reduced to headlines. Your parents, who put you first and who not only showed you but gave you the world. As always, they will be rooting for you as you begin your next chapter. And so will we.
White House photo by Pete Souza:
Jimmy Carter will attend Trump’s inauguration. So will Bush 43 and Laura.
Bush 41 and Barbara are given a pass:
Looks like we’re in for more crass behavior for this presidential inauguration from not only the liberal and progressive masses; but also from some less than gracious behavior from Democratic leaders, as well.
With all the divisiveness going on, the peaceful transition of power should remain a cause for celebration and unity.
Like Marc Thiessen, I was not a conservative who jumped on the Trump train. However,
This morning, as I watch Donald Trump standing on the steps of the Capitol taking the oath of office as the next president of the United States, one thought will be going through my mind:
There, but for the grace of God, goes Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Yes, there are many reasons to be wary of President Trump. But there are also many reasons for conservatives to be hopeful.
First and foremost is that Trump will restore the conservative majority on the Supreme Court. Had Clinton been the one to fill the seat left by Justice Antonin Scalia, she would have shifted the court leftward for a generation — with disastrous consequences for human life, religious liberty, the Second Amendment and limited government. Instead, Trump will replace Scalia, and Democrats are powerless to stop him. Should Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) follow through on his threat to stonewall Trump’s pick, Republicans can simply follow the precedent that Democrats set in 2013, when they changed Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster for lifetime judicial appointments to the federal circuit courts.
Second, Trump has picked perhaps the most conservative Cabinet of any president in modern history — from Tom Price at Health and Human Services to Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency, Jeff Sessions at Justice and Betsy DeVos at Education. Because Democrats eliminated the filibuster for most presidential nominations, Republicans don’t need Democratic votes to confirm Trump’s appointments. If the axiom that “staff is policy” is true, this will be a deeply conservative administration.
Third, Trump is an outsider who intends to break the mold of governance in Washington. He is not here to make incremental changes. He plans to go big. That holds both promise and peril. If he goes big in the wrong direction (isolationism, protectionism), the results could be disastrous. But Trump has promised to go big on a lot of important conservative priorities. Liberals had better hold on tight.
Thiessen is more optimistic than I currently am. I am in the wait and see; more like cautiously hopeful. Nothing has pushed me further back to the right, though, than all the unhinged hyperbolic hysteria and distortions coming from the left. Especially before 45 has even been sworn into office. Here’s a handy guide for liberals.
As a people, let’s hope for the best in this change of power and direction for the country.
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.