By Brendan Loy
Alasdair, in comments, on Friday:
I’m just curious if our Secretary of State will be the one to volunteer to be absent from the SOTU … if she does, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere in the North-East during the SOTU speech, and especially not in DC …
Not that I believe she would try anything, but we are talking about Presidential-Candidate Hillary, after all … you know what I mean … and she is currently 5th in line, is she not ?
The Associated Press, 30 minutes ago:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is missing President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in order to attend a conference in London, but she is not the only absentee Cabinet member.
One member of the Cabinet is designated by the White House to ride out the speech in an undisclosed location as a precaution against the possibility of a catastrophe wiping out the rest of the government leadership in the Capitol during the address.
The White House did not announce in advance of the speech who would be that holdout.
When Clinton became aware that her planned trip to London…would coincide with the State of the Union address, aides approached the White House about it.
“Could she be the Cabinet member who remains outside the Capitol? We were told that the ‘undisclosed location’ must be in the United States,” said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. So, “she is not that Cabinet member.”
Well, regardless of who “that Cabinet member” is, Hillary would become President in the event of, God forbid, a catastrophe striking the SOTU and killing or incapacitating President Obama, Vice President Biden, Speaker of the House Pelosi, and Senate President pro tempore Byrd (all of whom will, I presume, be in attendance). The Secretary of State is the first Cabinet member in the presidential line of succession — and, regardless of what the “undisclosed location” protocol says, being in London wouldn’t prevent her from becoming POTUS (or acting POTUS, in the case of incapacitation).
In any event, according to the AP, Hillary is going to London “for separate conferences on Yemen and Afghanistan,” and State Department spokesman Crowley said “Obama felt it was more important for her to go to London than to remain for his speech.”
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