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Read George W. Bush’s Inauguration Day Letter to Barack Obama

Words of wisdom. Former President George W. Bush’s Inauguration Day letter to his successor, President Barack Obama, was made public for the first time on Thursday, January 19.

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In the note, which was obtained by ABC News from the National Archives and Records Administration, Bush, now 70 — whose two-term presidency began in 2001 — wrote that he was rooting for Obama, 55, as the Hawaiian-born politician began his eight-year tenure as commander in chief in 2009.

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George W. Bush
Barack Obama and George W. Bush (right) Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Bush’s encouraging remarks to Obama were released just one day ahead of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, January 20, in Washington, D.C., where the ex–Celebrity Apprentice host, 70, will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Both Obama and Bush attended the inaugural festivities with their wives, Michelle Obama and Laura Bush.

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Read the full text of Bush’s letter to Obama, below.

Dear Barack,

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.



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