Jenna Bush Hager got emotional as she recalled the tradition started by her grandfather George H.W. Bush of leaving a letter for the next president.
“(My grandfather) started this tradition where the outgoing president would write a letter and leave it in the desk of the Oval Office so when the new president would come in the first day, he would open his desk and there it would be,” the host of the “Today with Hoda and Jenna” show shared. (RELATED: Here Were George H.W. Bush’s Final Words To His Family)
— TODAY with Hoda & Jenna (@HodaAndJenna) November 9, 2020
“I’ve seen it before, and there are other letters,” she added noting the letter had surfaced on social media over the weekend was written by then President Bush to Bill Clinton following the 1982 election. “It was a tradition that continued.” (RELATED: Here’s A Look Back At George H.W. Bush’s Life In Pictures)
The daughter of President George W. Bush then went on to read out loud the handwritten letter dated January 20, 1993.
“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.”
The letter talked about the “very tough times” the next president would face that would be “made even more difficult by criticism” that he “may not think is fair.”
Hager continued reading, “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.”
The letter closed with the outgoing president wishing Clinton well and his family too while adding that the next president’s “success now is our country’s success” and how he would be “rooting hard” for him.
Jenna then concluded her comments by sharing, “It’s not about the political parties or the one man that sits at that office. It’s about a love and a respect for our country, and (my grandfather) had that so much that he created this beautiful tradition that I hope will continue.”