Designated survivor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In the United States, a designated survivor (or designated successor) is a named individual in the presidential line of succession, chosen to stay (at a secure and undisclosed location) away from events such as State of the Union addresses and presidential inaugurations. The practice of designating a successor is intended to prevent a hypothetical decapitation of the government and to safeguard continuity in the office of the president in the event the president along with the vice president and multiple other officials in the presidential line of succession die in a mass-casualty incident. The procedure originated in the 1950s during the Cold War with its risk of nuclear attack.

If such an event occurred, the surviving official highest in the line of succession as delineated in the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 would become acting president of the United States. Consequently, the individual named must be eligible to serve as president. In practice, the designated survivor is usually a member of the president's Cabinet, and is chosen by the president.

Selection[edit]

The process for selection of the designated survivor has been described by those involved to be entirely random. However, the character of the event for which a designated survivor is being selected may cause some officials to be avoided in the selection process.[1][better source needed]

List of designated survivors[edit]

Date Occasion Designee Position Notes
February 18, 1981 Presidential Address to Joint Session of Congress[2] Terrel Bell Secretary of Education [3]
January 25, 1984 State of the Union Samuel Pierce Secretary of Housing and Urban Development [4][5][6][7]
January 21, 1985 Presidential Inauguration Margaret Heckler Secretary of Health and Human Services [8]
February 6, 1985 State of the Union Malcolm Baldrige Secretary of Commerce [4][5][7][9]
February 4, 1986 State of the Union John Block Secretary of Agriculture [4][5][7][10]
January 27, 1987 State of the Union Richard Lyng Secretary of Agriculture [4][5][7][11]
January 25, 1988 State of the Union Donald Hodel Secretary of the Interior [4][3][5][7]
February 9, 1989 Presidential Address to Joint Session of Congress[2] Lauro Cavazos Secretary of Education [citation needed]
January 31, 1990 State of the Union Edward J. Derwinski Secretary of Veterans Affairs [4][5][7][12]
January 29, 1991 State of the Union Manuel Lujan Secretary of the Interior [4][5][7][13]
January 28, 1992 State of the Union Ed Madigan Secretary of Agriculture [4][5][7]
February 17, 1993 Presidential Address to Joint Session of Congress[2] Bruce Babbitt Secretary of the Interior [4][5][7]
January 25, 1994 State of the Union Mike Espy Secretary of Agriculture [4][5][7]
January 24, 1995 State of the Union Federico Peña Secretary of Transportation [4][5][7]
January 23, 1996 State of the Union Donna Shalala Secretary of Health and Human Services [4][5][7][14]
February 4, 1997 State of the Union Dan Glickman Secretary of Agriculture [4][5][7][15]
January 27, 1998 State of the Union William Daley Secretary of Commerce [4][5][7]
January 19, 1999 State of the Union Andrew Cuomo Secretary of Housing and Urban Development [4][5][7][16]
January 27, 2000 State of the Union Bill Richardson Secretary of Energy [4][5][7][17]
February 27, 2001 Presidential Address to Joint Session of Congress[2] Anthony Principi Secretary of Veterans Affairs [4][5][7]
September 20, 2001 Presidential Address to Joint Session of Congress
(following the September 11 attacks)
Dick Cheney Vice President [4][18]
Tommy Thompson Secretary of Health and Human Services
January 29, 2002 State of the Union Gale Norton Secretary of the Interior [5][7][19]
January 28, 2003 State of the Union John Ashcroft Attorney General [4][5][7][20]
Norman Mineta Secretary of Transportation
January 20, 2004 State of the Union Donald Evans Secretary of Commerce [4][5][7][21]
January 20, 2005 Presidential Inauguration Gale Norton Secretary of the Interior [22][23]
February 2, 2005 State of the Union Donald Evans Secretary of Commerce [4][5][7][24][25]
Ted Stevens (R-AK) President pro tempore of the Senate
January 31, 2006 State of the Union Jim Nicholson Secretary of Veterans Affairs [4][5][7][24][26]
Ted Stevens (R-AK) President pro tempore of the Senate
January 23, 2007 State of the Union Alberto Gonzales Attorney General [4][5][7][24][27]
January 28, 2008 State of the Union Dirk Kempthorne Secretary of the Interior [4][5][7][28]
January 20, 2009 Presidential Inauguration Robert Gates Secretary of Defense [29][30]
February 24, 2009 Presidential Address to Joint Session of Congress[2] Eric Holder Attorney General [4][5][7][31]
September 9, 2009 Presidential Address to Joint Session of Congress
(Health Care Speech to Congress)
Steven Chu Secretary of Energy [32]
January 27, 2010 State of the Union Shaun Donovan Secretary of Housing and Urban Development [5][7]
January 25, 2011 State of the Union Ken Salazar Secretary of the Interior [5][7][33]
January 24, 2012 State of the Union Tom Vilsack Secretary of Agriculture [5][7][34]
January 21, 2013 Presidential Inauguration Eric Shinseki Secretary of Veterans Affairs [35]
February 12, 2013 State of the Union Steven Chu Secretary of Energy [7]
January 28, 2014 State of the Union Ernest Moniz Secretary of Energy [36][37]
January 20, 2015 State of the Union Anthony Foxx Secretary of Transportation [38][39]
January 12, 2016 State of the Union Orrin Hatch (R-UT) President pro tempore of the Senate [40]
Jeh Johnson Secretary of Homeland Security [41]
January 20, 2017 Presidential Inauguration Orrin Hatch (R-UT) President pro tempore of the Senate [42]
Jeh Johnson Secretary of Homeland Security [43]
February 28, 2017 Presidential Address to Joint Session of Congress[2] David Shulkin Secretary of Veterans Affairs [44][45][46]
January 30, 2018 State of the Union Sonny Perdue Secretary of Agriculture [47]
February 5, 2019 State of the Union Rick Perry Secretary of Energy [48]
February 4, 2020 State of the Union David Bernhardt Secretary of the Interior [49][50]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Seth Millstein (6 February 2019). "How Is The Designated Survivor Chosen? Rick Perry Won't Be At The 2019 SOTU". Bustle. CBS News reports that the president and their staff are responsible for selecting the designated survivor, and Jon Favreau, Barack Obama's former lead speechwriter, spoke to The Ringer about the designated survivor selection process in 2016. Favreau initially said that the process is "entirely random," but then backtracked a bit and said that sometimes, the designated survivor depends on what the president intends to say in their speech.
  2. ^ a b c d e f 1981, 1989, 1993, 2001, 2009 and 2017 speeches were given by incoming Presidents and not formal "State of the Union" addresses.
  3. ^ a b Hershey, Jr., Robert D. (27 January 1988). "State of Union: Bewitched by Pageant". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "Cabinet Members Who Did Not Attend the State of the Union Address". www.presidency.ucsb.edu.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab "Cabinet members who did not attend the State of the Union Address (since 1984)" (PDF). United States Senate Historical Office.
  6. ^ 1984: UPI, "Washington Dateline." Jan 25, 1984
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac Rachel Weiner (February 12, 2013). "Steven Chu is the State of the Union 'designated survivor'". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ "Gainesville Sun - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  9. ^ 1985: UPI, "Washington News." Feb 6, 1985
  10. ^ 1986: UPI, "Washington News." Feb 4, 1986
  11. ^ 1987: UPI, "Washington News." Jan 28, 1987
  12. ^ 1990: Washington Post, Page C3. Jan 31, 1991
  13. ^ 1991: Washington Post, Page C3. Jan 31, 1991
  14. ^ 1996: USA Today, Page A12. Feb 5, 1997
  15. ^ 1997: Washington Post, "Agriculture's Glickman Draws Doomsday Duty for Address." Page A13. Feb 4, 1997
  16. ^ 1999: New York Times, "Not Being Invited Was the Honor." Page B2. Jan 21, 1999
  17. ^ 2000: Washington Post, "The Reliable Source." Page C3. Jan 28, 2000
  18. ^ 2001: New York Times, "Cabinet's 'Designated Absentee' Stays Away." Page A23. Jan 30, 2002
  19. ^ 2002: New York Times, "Cabinet's 'Designated Absentee' Stays Away." Page A23. Jan 30, 2002
  20. ^ 2003: New York Times, "Ashcroft in Secret Spot During Bush Address." Jan 29, 2003
  21. ^ 2004: AP, "Four to Miss Speech Due to Security." Jan 20, 2004
  22. ^ "Designated survivor prepares". KMGH. 2017-01-19. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  23. ^ "Designated survivor prepares". WGBA. 2017-01-19. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  24. ^ a b c For the 2005, 2006 and 2007 State of the Union addresses, the President pro tempore of the Senate would have been the highest-ranking survivor.
  25. ^ 2005: The New York Times, "Five Officials Skip State of the Union Address." Feb 2, 2005.
  26. ^ 2006: Philadelphia Inquirer, "A Message of Energy, Strength." Feb 1, 2006.
  27. ^ 2007: Washington Post, "The Reliable Source." Page C3. Jan 25, 2007.
  28. ^ 2008: AP, "Interior Secretary Skips Speech," Jan 28, 2008
  29. ^ 2009: AFP American Edition, "Gates to Sit out Obama Inauguration," January 19, 2009
  30. ^ Gates To Be Designated Successor On Inauguration Day, CBS News, January 19, 2009.
  31. ^ Holder Staying Away From Obama's Speech, The Washington Post, February 24, 2009.
  32. ^ "Energy secretary skips Obama health care address".
  33. ^ O'Keefe, Ed (25 January 2011). "State of the Union: Ken Salazar to serve as 'designated survivor'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  34. ^ Associated Press (24 January 2012). "State of the Union: Tom Vilsack to serve as Cabinet's 'designated survivor". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  35. ^ "Shinseki absent from inaugural". Miami Herald. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013.[dead link]
  36. ^ "Energy Secretary to be Designated Survivor during State of the Union". FOX News. January 28, 2014.
  37. ^ Miller, Zeke J (28 January 2014). "This Man Will Be Your President If The Worst Happens Happens". Time. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  38. ^ "Obama's 'designated survivor:' Anthony Foxx". USA Today. January 20, 2015.
  39. ^ Jackson, David (20 January 2015). "O". NationalJournal. Archived from the original on 21 January 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  40. ^ Shalby, Colleen (12 January 2016). "If #SOTU disaster strikes, Jeh Johnson ... or a Republican would become president". LA Times. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  41. ^ Saenz, Arlette (January 12, 2016). "State of the Union: Jeh Johnson Named Designated Survivor". ABC News.
  42. ^ Tribune, The Salt Lake. "Sen. Orrin Hatch acting as a designated survivor during inauguration". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2017-09-05. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  43. ^ Weaver, Dustin (20 January 2017). "Jeh Johnson is designated survivor for inauguration". TheHill. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  44. ^ DeBonis, Mike; Johnson, Jenna (2017-01-24). "Trump to address a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  45. ^ "Philip Rucker on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  46. ^ "VA Secretary David Shulkin chosen as designated survivor". ABC News.
  47. ^ Westwood, Sarah. "Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue State of the Union 'designated survivor'". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  48. ^ Klein, Betsy; Gray, Noah (February 5, 2019). "Energy Secretary Rick Perry is the designated survivor". CNN. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  49. ^ Choi, Matthew (February 4, 2020). "The State of the Union's designated survivor: Interior Secretary David Bernhardt". Politico. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  50. ^ "What to know about the "designated survivor" and State of the Union". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2020-02-05.

External links[edit]