Providing another example of how President Trump’s reaction to his electoral loss differs from that of other presidents, Hillary Clinton on Tuesday released a letter that an incumbent President George HW Bush wrote to a new president, Bill Clinton , in 1993.
“You will be our president when you read this note, ”Mr. Bush, a Republican and the latest incumbent to lose reelection, wrote to Mr. Clinton, his Democratic successor, on inauguration day. “Your success is now the success of our country. I root you hard. Good luck.”
“This is how it’s done in America,” Ms. Clinton wrote on Instagram, calling the letter “gracious”.
“From the very beginning, American presidents have accepted the will of the people and participated in a peaceful transfer of power,” she writes. “This is what makes our democracy so unique and so enduring.”
To be fair, Mr. Trump has 71 days to write a similar note to Mr. Biden. But given the way things are going so far, that move seems unlikely. Mr Trump broke Washington standards for four years, has yet to admit he lost the election and is blocking the start of a period of peaceful transition, breaking a long-standing precedent.
Mr. Bush was the last president to serve before Mr. Trump. But the similarities end there.
“This is how we see it and the country should see it – that the people have spoken and that we respect the majesty of the democratic system,” said Mr. Bush in his election night concession speech in 1992 “Just called Governor Clinton went to Little Rock and offered my congratulations. He ran a solid campaign. I wish him good luck in the White House.
Transitions have already faced obstacles. The most recent – in 2016, when Mr. Trump was preparing to take over from President Barack Obama – was difficult and overdue due to the shaking of Mr. Trump’s team. Eight years earlier, Mr. Obama’s transition was difficult because he had to replace his chief of staff on several occasions.