On Thursday, President Obama and president-elect Donald Trump met at the White House to have a "wide-ranging" discussion, as is customary after the election. Speaking to reporters together later, Obama called the meeting "excellent" and said that he was "encouraged by the interest in president-elect Trump's wanting to work with my team around many of the issues that this great country faces."
But other than his exemplary grace and dignity, Obama had a particularly poignant reminder for all Americans in a time of anxiety and turmoil.
"I believe that it is important for all of us, regardless of party and regardless of political preferences, to now come together, work together to deal with the many challenges that we face," Obama told the press.
There was perhaps no other meeting between a president and his successor in recent memory that was so ripe with potential for bad blood. Trump has lobbied a number of insults at the president, often on Twitter, both before and during his campaign. The president-elect was also the chief perpetuator of the birtherism conspiracy that attempted to delegitimize the first African American president. Obama, too, has issued strongly-worded criticism for Trump and his campaign's divisive rhetoric.
But the meeting, which Trump called "a great honor," seems to have gone down remarkably well, perhaps better than many hoped for. And as Obama's time as Commander-in-Chief winds down, it's worth remembering a leader who embodied decency and respectability, and even more so, the words he directed at Trump:
I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed, because if you succeed, the country succeeds.