The President -- Conceivably

The few who can actually recognize all the members of President Clinton's Cabinet will note as they watch his State of the Union address on Jan. 25 that one Secretary is missing from the audience. It is a little-known tradition that one Cabinet member does not attend the speech, lest some calamity occur and wipe out everyone in the line of succession to the presidency. There is no rule for how the designee is chosen, but he or she is typically told at the last minute. For too long, the men and women who shoulder this terrible burden have done so...

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