Former US Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton teamed up together to speak on unity and democracy before sending a message of support to new President Joe Biden.
The former leaders gathered in the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, to record the warm message for Biden, which aired during the “Celebrating America’ inauguration special on Wednesday night.
Obama started off by saying, “Obviously, there was a personal element to see my former vice president become the 46th president, to see Kamala Harris as our first woman vice president, but more broadly, I think inaugurations signal a tradition of a peaceful transfer of power that is over two centuries old.”
Bush responded, “The fact that the three of us are standing here talking about a peaceful transfer of power speaks to the institutional integrity of our country.”
Obama then reflected on one of his “fondest memories” from his own Inauguration Day, saying “the grace and generosity” of the Bush family during the transition. “It was a reminder that we can have fierce disagreements and yet recognize each other’s common humanity,” the father of two said.
Clinton noted, “It’s a new beginning. And everybody needs to get off their high horse and reach out to their friends and neighbors and try to make it possible.”
The former presidents ended their message by wishing Biden well in his tenure. As Bush put it, “All three of us were lucky to be the president of this country. Mr. President, I’m pulling for your success. Your success is our country’s success.”
Clinton added, “You have spoken for us today. Now you will lead for us. And we’re ready to march with you.”
Obama then wrapped up the message, saying: “Joe, I’m proud of you. And you and Kamala need to know that you’ve got all of us here rooting for your success,” the A Promised Land author concluded. “We wish you Godspeed.”
Watch the video below.