(CNN) – Paul Begala, a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and now a CNN contributor, wrote a draft of Clinton’s farewell speech, but said in a memo to the President that he didn’t include any mention of his wife, Hillary Clinton, and suggested Clinton himself should write that portion of the speech.
"The only thing I did not take a crack at is a nod to Senator-Elect Clinton. That has to come from your pen,” he wrote in the memo dated January 2, 2000.
The memo was found in a batch of confidential memos, notes and other papers from the Clinton White House that was released by the William J. Clinton Presidential Library on Friday.
On the substance of the speech, he encouraged the President to “break with tradition” and “keep it short.”
“Your presidency has been a creation of the American people,” he continued. “Not the elite, ersatz aristocracy that has always hated arid feared you, but the people.”
“Perhaps more than any man who has held that office since Andrew Jackson, you have been a President of the people and for the people,” he added. “Your farewell address should reflect that.”
He advised Clinton not to list all his accomplishments but rather focus on “American character.” Begala also took a shot at then-incoming President George W. Bush and the controversial 2000 election.
“To reduce your Presidency to programmatic achievements is to ignore its soul,” he said. “And in light of an election in which the loser is taking office, I think we need to lay down a marker that at least someone still believes in democracy.”
While the farewell address had traditionally been delivered from the Oval Office, Begala suggested that Clinton is at his best when he’s among people and said Clinton should fill the State Dining Room with people the media has never heard of but had been inspired or helped by Clinton.
“They can’t be raucous and must be cautioned that this cannot appear to be a pep rally, but the live audience will elicit your best performance,” he wrote.
Did Clinton take his advice?
On January 18, 2001, the president delivered his farewell address from the Oval Office, with no one else in the shot.
And what did he say about the first lady?
“Hillary, Chelsea, and I join all Americans in wishing our very best to the next President, George W. Bush,” he said.
CNN's Ashley Killough and Sean Kennedy contributed to this report.