Barack Obama's handover letter to Donald Trump shows the difference between them

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Before leaving the Oval Office in January, Barack Obama had one final thing to do.

The Democrat President had lived and worked in the White House since 2009.

Obama adhered to the time-honoured tradition that departing commander-in-chiefs leave behind a note, containing a little wisdom and warning about the role for their successor.

Their meeting in November of last year was a fascinating clash of ideologies, and their body languages said as much.

In an exclusive CNNhave now revealed the contents of that letter and it speaks volumes about the difference between the two men.

Dear Mr. President -

Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.

This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don't know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful. Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.

First, we've both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune. Not everyone is so lucky. 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.

Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It's up to us, through action and example, 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. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions — like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties — that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it's up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.

And finally, take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They'll get you through the inevitable rough patches.

Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.

Good luck and Godspeed,


He congratulated Trump on his "remarkable run" before expressing a"hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure."

CNN report that Obama hand wrote the letter and left it in the top draw of the Oval Office desk.

As he continues Obama concedes that his advice might not be helpful but does offer some reflections.

He acknowledged the enormous wealth and privilege into which Trump had been born:

We’ve both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune.

Not everyone is so lucky. 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.

His observations on foreign policy and America's place in the world couldn't be more prescient at this time.

Obama also told him to uphold the democratic institutions of the United States.

Around the time of the inauguration, Trump called the letter "beautiful".

He promised that he "won't even tell the press what's in that letter," as reported by the Guardian.

However he did admit that:

It was long. It was complex.

Despite the POTUS showing his admiration for the letter it is unclear whether he has taken any of the warnings to heart.

Currently the President is dealing with a potential nuclear crisis with North Korea, which he isn't handling it in the greatest fashion.

Earlier this summer Trump defended white supremacists who marched on the town of Charlottesville, Virginia.

He and his Republican cohorts are also repealing Obamacare, putting millions of American's health at risk, frustrations with which have led him to call for the end of the filibuster itself.

It remains to be seen if Trump will change his stance now that the letter has come to light but commentators cannot help but notice the contrasts between the two President's that it highlights.

HT CNN, Guardian

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