State Of The Union Address 2010: Who Will Be Designated Survivor?
As President Obama is preparing to deliver his first official State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress tomorrow, many are wondering who will be the designated survivor this year. President Obama will be joined by Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Justices of the Supreme Court, the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and members of the President's Cabinet.
In accordance with the tradition, one cabinet member, aka "the designated survivor," does not get to attend the address. That one person has to be elsewhere to ensure that at least one member in the line of power succession survives in the event of a catastrophe that kills the President, the Vice President and all the succeeding officers.
In 2008, the designated survivor was the Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne. One year prior, Alberto Gonzalez, the Attorney General. Many are wondering whom Obama will leave out from his first State of the Union address this year. Some are speculating it could be the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, which would make her the first female to be entrusted to succeed the President in the event of a catastrophe since Gale Norton was given the task in 2002.