Energy Secretary Rick Perry Named ‘designated Survivor' for Trump's State of the Union Speech

WASHINGTON — Energy Secretary Rick Perry was named the designated survivor for President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday, according to CNN and other media reports.That means that the former Texas governor is being kept in an undisclosed location for the duration of the speech, just in case an attack or some other calamity hits the Capitol as it plays host to virtually every top official in all three branches of the federal government.If such a tragedy were to unfold — and those officials were incapacitated — Perry would become president.The responsibility has become something of a quirky tradition, even though it has a serious purpose that dates back to the Cold War. A different Cabinet member typically handles the task each year, with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue serving the role during last year's address.Trump didn't have as many options as usual this year.Several Cabinet members have left their positions in recent months, and Trump has not yet filled those vacancies with permanent replacements. That matters because the designated survivor, by law, must be a Senate-confirmed Cabinet member.(Another rule is that the designated survivor must be a natural-born U.S. citizen, thus eliminating Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao from the duty.)So Perry ended up drawing the short straw this year. And naturally, the Internet had some fun, with many folks on Twitter using the occasion to share GIFs of Perry's good-natured but sometimes cringe-worthy appearances on "Dancing with the Stars."  Continue reading...

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