Since the death of former US president George H.W. Bush on Friday, November 30, several renowned politicians have left touching tributes about the late Republican.
Writing for The Washington Post, Clinton shared the letter he received from the then 68-year-old on the first day of his presidency. The Democrat had just defeated Bush in the 1993 Presidential election and keeping in line with the tradition between the incoming and outgoing President, Bush had left him a handwritten letter.
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
This is a hand-written letter George H.W. Bush famously left for Bill Clinton on his first day in office. People, this is what class looks like. This is how a U.S. president is supposed to carry himself. pic.twitter.com/Ty4tL8V5XC
— Scott J. Adams ☘️ (@SJAdams) December 1, 2018
The letter has since gone viral, with many people noting the civility and courtesy between the two presidents of opposing sides, something that seems almost foreign in today’s loud and argumentative political environment – both internationally and in the US.
Writing about Bush’s perspective on politics, Clinton complimented the former president’s ability to work with bipartisan support, who despite being a Republican still collaborated with the Democrats over The Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 which made it illegal for employers to discriminate against disability, as well as environmental issues like the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.
He also said that while he and Bush occasionally clashed in opinions, it didn’t affect their relationship.
“Even more important, though he could be tough in a political fight, he was in it for the right reasons: People always came before politics, patriotism before partisanship. To the end, we knew we would never agree on everything, and we agreed that was okay. Honest debate strengthens democracy,” he wrote.