Bush wrote it after losing to Clinton in the ‘92 election.
Photo via Flickr user (cc) Lansing State Journal
As Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has slid in the polls over the past month, he has intensified his conspiratorial claims that this election is “rigged” by the media and elites. Trump doubled down on the claim in this week’s third and final presidential debate. When asked if he’d accept the election results Trump said, “I will look at it at the time,” before adding, “I will keep you in suspense.”
Trump’s complaints of a rigged election sound more like the cries of a sore loser than someone legitimately undermined by the system. On a deeper level, his conspiratorial beliefs are a direct assault on the values that uphold our democracy. Amid this unsettling behavior, a heartfelt letter of support from outgoing president George H.W. Bush to President Bill Clinton in January of 1993 is going viral.
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
Bush’s letter to Clinton is a master class in grace and humility in the face of losing a hard-fought election. His letter shows a man who values his love of country over self-serving partisan aims. “You will be our President when you read this note,” Bush wrote. “Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.” It’s no wonder why Clinton and Bush struck up a lifelong friendship in 2004 while partnering on relief efforts for the Asian tsunami. “I thought I knew him; but until this trip I did not really know him,” Bush said of his former rival. When a potential Jeb Bush versus Hillary Clinton presidential race seemed likely a few years back, Bush believed his friendship with Clinton could withstand the fight. “The politics between now and two years from now might put pressure on our friendship, but it is my view that it will survive,” he wrote.