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People Are Memorializing George H.W. Bush By Sharing His Letter To Bill Clinton After He Took Office

“Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.”

Posted on December 1, 2018, at 1:34 a.m. ET

Former President George H.W. Bush died on Friday at the age of 94.

Logan Mock-bunting / Getty Images

In the wake of his death, people took to social media to share their condolences.

I will never forget George H.W. Bush and President Clinton meeting me in my old hometown of New Orleans to show support and raise money after Hurricane Katrina. I send my love to his family tonight.

RIP to George H. W. Bush, the former President who was a huge Astros fan.

We have lost a great American. Service defined President George H.W. Bush’s life, and he taught all of us about leadership, sacrifice and decency. We send our deepest sympathies to the Bush family.

And some people started to share a letter that Bush wrote to President Bill Clinton, who defeated him after one term in 1992.

Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

The letter originally circulated in September 2017.

George H.W. Bush’s letter to Bill Clinton, Inaugural Day 1993:

And started to make its way around again on the eve of Bush’s death.

“You will be our president when you read this note. Your success now is our country’s success. I will be rooting hard for you.” ~George HW Bush to Bill Clinton

“I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described,” Bush wrote.

The note he left behind in the Oval Office for President Clinton when he transitioned out of office is a great reminder of what a true statesman he was. 41 will be sorely missed.

“Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.”

Immediately upon hearing of the passing of President George H. W. Bush, I thought of this note he left in the Oval Office for incoming President Bill Clinton. Folks, we could use a little more of this nowadays. May there be more like him. #RIPBush41

Here’s the full text of the letter:

Dear Bill,

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—


An earlier version of this post misstated the year Bill Clinton won election. It was 1992.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.